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    Mayer, Uri (4th August 1946-Present)

    He is a violist and conductor born in Targa-Mures, Romania who lived in Israel from the time he was young.


    He studied conducting and viola at the Tel-Aviv Conservatory of Music and while still attending high school in 1964 he gave his debut as a conductor with the National Youth Orchestra of Israel.  In 1964 he went on to take further studies at Tel-Aviv University’s Ruben School of Music and remained there until 1968.


    This debut led to him becoming the Assistant Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Israel and staying with them until 1970.  During these years he also became a member of the Israel Philharmonic for a period from 1967 to 1968. 


    In 1968 he relocated to the United States after being awarded a Damrosch conducting scholarship at New York’s Juilliard School of Music at the recommendation of Leonard Bernstein to study with Jean Morel.  He also won viola competitions at events in Geneva and Munich and conducting competitions in Hungary and Poland.


     Before long he was finding work performing and conducting when he was given the positions of Principal Violist with the American Symphony Orchestra led by Leopold Stokowski and Assistant Conductor of the New York Youth Symphony Orchestra.


    Moving to Canada as the 1970s approached he joined the Montreal Symphony in 1970 as Assistant Princiapal Violist under the leadership of Raphael Fruhbeck du Burgos and Charles Dutoit.  After performing with them for ten years he was given the position of their Associate Conductor.  In 1972 he was Music Director of the Canadian Symphony, staying for two years until 1974.  He went on to become the Music Director for the Contemporary Directions Ensemble and the University Philharmonia at the University of Michigan in 1974 and was with them until 1976.  Also in 1976 he became a naturalised Canadian citizen. 


    Moving on in the 1980s he joined the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in 1981 as their Music Director and remained in that position for thirteen years until 1995 when he was succeeded by Grzegorz Norwak.  In 1988 he became the Principal Conductor of Orchestra London, Canada and remained in that position until 1994.


    In 1991 he joined the Israel Sinfonietta as their Artistic Adviser, staying with them until 1999, and in 1994 he went Japan to join the Kansai Philharmonic where he was their Principal Conductor from 1994 to 2000.


    Moving to Toronto in the mid 1990s he has performed with the National Ballet of Canada on many occasions as a guest conductor where he has led the orchestra in numerous productions.  He has also led many other international orchestras in over 20 different countries as a guest conductor.


    In 2011 he took on the position of the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director with the Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra.


    Appearing on numerous television and radio broadcasts, he has also made many recordings that include Gyorgy Lang: Concerto Ebraico with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Britten: Canadian Carnival, Canadian and Russian Overtures, Great Orchestral Marches, Great Tenor Arias and Orchestral Suites of the British Isles by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Spring Romance by Dan Gibson, Shostakovich: Chamber Symphonies, Op.83a and 110a and Richard Strauss: Horn Concertos Nos 1 & 2 by the Israel Sinfonietta and Horn Concertos by Marie-Luise Neunecker and Mr. Rigoletto: My Life in Music by Louis Quillico.


    In the field of musical education he was on the faculty of McGill Unniversity and conducted their symphony orchestra from 1976 to 1981, he was music director of  Rice University Orchestra in Houston from 1986 to 1988 and recently he has worked at the Royal Conservatory Orchestra as their Resident Conductor and the Director of The Glenn Gould School of Orchestra Programme.

    In 2009 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Western Ontario.


    Edmonton Symphony Orchestra recordings

    Colas Breugnon Overture (Dmitri Kabalevsky)

    (CD:  Canadian and Russian Overtures)
    Conductor: Uri Mayer


    1. http://www.hughkaylor.com/Mayer-Uri-Bio.html
    2. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=U1ARTU0002264
    3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uri_Mayer
    4. http://www.culturedays.ca/en/2011-activities/view/4d99ec3e-bb74-4f98-9762-47be4c4a89be
    5. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/uri-mayer-q39386/credits/all















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