Larry J. Livingston
Chair, Department of Conducting
- Division:Classical Performance and Composition
Larry Livingston is a distinguished conductor, educator, and administrator, and a highly respected motivational speaker. The founding Music Director of the Illinois Chamber Orchestra, Livingston has appeared with the Houston Symphony and in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series. He has conducted at the Festival de Musique in Evian, France, and has led the Stockholm Wind Orchestra, as well as the Leopoldinum Chamber, Chopin Academy, Wroclaw Philharmonic and Academy Orchestras in Poland. He served as Music Director of the Pan Pacific Festival Orchestras in Sydney, participated as a performer at the 1982 International Jazz Festival in Rome, and conducted an electro-acoustic ensemble in concerts in Tokyo under the auspices of Yamaha International. Mr. Livingston has led the American Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra, the USC Thornton Chamber and Symphony Orchestras in Los Angeles and the USC Thornton Contemporary Music Ensemble in Berlin, and served on the jury for the renowned Besancon International Conducting Competition in Besancon, France.
Mr. Livingston has performed with soloists Keiko Abe, Ran Blake, Shelly Berg, Maureen Forrester, Adolph Herseth, Lawrence Lesser, Yehudi Menuhin, Robert Merrill, Mark O’Connor, Itzhak Perlman, Donald Sinta, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, John Walz and Time for Three, and has premiered and/or recorded works by Jan Bach, Paul Cooper, Mario Davidovsky, Robert Erickson, Ernst Krenek, Kasia Livingston, Edwin London, Pauline Oliveros, Russell Peck, Roger Reynolds, and Yuji Takahashi.
Mr. Livingston frequently appears with professional, festival, collegiate, and all-state wind ensembles, bands and orchestras throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. From 1983 to 2002, he served as a conductor in the University of Michigan All-State Program at Interlochen, has been the Conductor of the Festival Orchestra at Idyllwild Arts since 1989, and is the Music Director of Music for All’s National Honors Orchestra.
From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Livingston regularly toured Germany and Slovakia with the Internationale Junge Orchesterakademie. The performances and subsequent recordings were “the most successful in this organization’s history,” according to its director. In the last decade, he has conducted extensively in Eastern Europe, and particularly throughout Poland, leading orchestras in Warsaw, Wroclaw, Jelenia Gora, Bialystok, and Olsztyn, attracting consistent critical acclaim. Reviews described “long, unending applause, enthusiastic cheers, like at a rock concert, standing ovation.”
Since 2004, Mr. Livingston has toured with the famed Landes Jugend Orchester, served as clinician and guest conductor at the College Band Directors National Conference in Alice Tully Hall, led All-State Ensembles in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon and Texas, where he appeared for the sixth time, a record unmatched in Texas All-State history. He has also twice conducted the George Enescu Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra in Romania. In 2004-12 Mr. Livingston directed the Thornton Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, guest conducted the Thornton Wind Ensemble, served as the Principal Juror for the 3rd Annual Winnipeg Symphony International Conducting Symposium, led the All-State Orchestras or Bands of Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas. He also returned to Katowice, Poland to conduct the opening concert in an international festival of academy orchestras. In 2012-14, Maestro Livingston will conduct the All-State Bands or Orchestras of Kentucky, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Iowa, serve as clinician for the Disney Honors Program, and guest conduct in Texas, Indiana, Florida, and California.
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Mr. Livingston studied conducting with Laurence Livingston, Elizabeth Green, William Revelli, Rafael Druian, and Herbert Zipper. In 1988 he received the Alumnus of the Year Award from the University of Michigan School of Music. Mr. Livingston served as Vice President and Music Director of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he was also Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra and Contemporary Music Ensemble, and, subsequently, became Dean of the Shepherd School of Music and Elma Schneider Professor of Music at Rice University in Houston. From 1986 until 2002, Mr. Livingston served as Dean of the USC Thornton School of Music, where he is Chair of the Conducting Department. The first music administrator accepted into the Harvard University Executive Education Program, he is a recipient of the Life in the Arts Award from Idyllwild Arts and an Outstanding Teacher Award from the student chapter of the USC Center for Religion. As a motivational speaker, he has established a national reputation for inspiring presentations to corporate and business leaders across the United States. Since 2008, Mr. Livingston has served as Director of Educational Initiatives. Also, at the request of Quincy Jones, Mr. Livingston chairs the Education Committee of the Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium.
In 2013, Mr. Livingston appeared in the “Lights Out” episode of Glee and was featured as a mentor in the USA Cable Network Television series, The Moment.