Leon Gregorian is Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus, Director of Orchestras, and Head of Graduate Orchestral Conducting Program at the Michigan State University College of Music. He holds degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music and Michigan State University. At the personal invitation of Charles Munch, music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, he studied conducting with celebrated maestros Munch, Richard Burgin, and Erich Leinsdorf at the Tanglewood Music Center for two successive summers.
From 1971-1986, Gregorian was music director and conductor of the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra in Kentucky. His work gained national recognition, and he served on several national and international boards as evaluator of programs and conductors for the Ford Foundation and American Symphony Orchestra League. In 1984, he joined the Michigan State University music faculty. Under his leadership the Michigan State University Symphony and Chamber Orchestras have performed in such prestigious halls as Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Halls in New York, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Orchestra Hall in Detroit, and at several music conferences, both national and international, to critical acclaim. His conducting students can be found across the world in prominent conducting positions. From 1987-1996, he also served as the artistic director/conductor of the Midland Symphony Orchestra in Michigan.
Gregorian has received many awards and honors throughout his career. Michigan State University awarded him the Teacher-Scholar Award, the Apollo Award, and the Distinguished Faculty Award, and he has received honorary awards from the State Houses in Massachusetts, Kentucky, Indiana, and Michigan.
Gregorian has guest conducted leading orchestras in Venezuela, Mexico, South Korea, Italy, Rumania, Armenia, Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Czech Republic, Australia, and the People’s Republic of China, as well as many orchestras in the United States, including the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, and the Esplanade Orchestras. He has recorded for PBS, Koch International Classics, Crystal, and Arizona University Records. A three-volume, 10 CD set, “Teaching Music Through Performances in Orchestra,” was recently recorded by Gregorian with the Michigan State University Symphony Orchestra. These resource recordings were made for GIA Publications in Chicago for worldwide distribution.
In May of 2007, at the invitation of the Austrian government, Leon Gregorian and the Michigan State University Chamber Orchestra represented the state of Michigan and participated in the worldwide celebration of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 250th birth anniversary, with four concerts in Salzburg and Vienna to critical acclaim.