Miles Hoffman, music commentator for National Public Radio’s flagship program Morning Edition, will serve as guest conductor of the Converse Symphony Orchestra during a free concert Monday, March 19, at 8 p.m. in Converse College’s Twichell Auditorium. The Orchestra will perform “Egmont” Overture by Beethoven, Concerto Grosso No. 1 by Ernest Bloch and Symphony No. 104 by Haydn.
Hoffman is serving as guest artist in residence for Converse’s Petrie School of Music March 12-20.
Hoffman appears frequently as viola soloist with orchestras throughout the country, performing a broad repertoire that includes music of Bach, Berlioz, Bloch, Bruch, Mozart, Penderecki, Telemann, Vaughan Williams and Walton. As music commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition, he is regularly heard by a national audience of some 14 million people, and he has been a featured lecturer for orchestras, universities, chamber music series, festivals, and many other organizations. His musical commentary, “Coming to Terms,” was heard weekly throughout the United States for 13 years – from 1989 to 2002 – on NPR’s Performance Today, and his book, The NPR Classical Music Companion, is now in its eighth printing from the Houghton Mifflin Company. He has also contributed articles to the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wilson Quarterly, among other publications.
Hoffman is violist and artistic director of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States and Canada. With the American Chamber Players he has recorded works of Mozart, Bruch, Bloch, Stravinsky and Rochberg for a series of compact discs produced by the Library of Congress and distributed internationally on the Koch International Classics Label. In May of 2003 Hoffman was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Centenary College of Louisiana in recognition of his achievements as a performer and educator.
A graduate of Yale University and the Juilliard School, Hoffman has won prizes in the National Arts Club and Washington International Competitions. He made his New York solo recital debut in 1979 at the 92nd Street Y, and has since appeared in recital in many cities. He played the first American performance of Krzysztof Penderecki’s “Cadenza” for solo viola and the first Washington area performance of the Penderecki Viola Concerto, and he has had works written for him by composers Bruce Saylor, Max Raimi, Roger Ames, and Seymour Barab, among others. In 1982 he founded the Library of Congress Summer Chamber Festival, which he directed for nine years, and which led to the formation of the American Chamber Players.
Both when traveling as a soloist and on his tours with the American Chamber Players, Hoffman presents children’s programs, classes, and master classes in schools and universities around the United States. He lives in Maryland with his wife and two daughters.
Hoffman’s previous visits to Converse include appearances with the American Chamber Players on the Friends of the Petrie School of Music Series in 1998, 2000, and 2002, and a week as Artist in Residence – guest conductor and soloist with the Converse Symphony Orchestra – in May of 2006.