Odyssiad® - "A Journey to the Performance of a Lifetime"
Wes Kenney is now in his 13th year as Professor of Music and Director of Orchestras at Colorado State University. He conducts the CSU Symphony and CSU Sinfonia as well as CSU Opera productions and teaches graduate conducting. Mr. Kenney has led the orchestra to many new milestones, including first ever at CSU performances of Mahler symphonies No. 1 and 5, two Strauss tone poems the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra and the Bruckner Symphony No. 5. He is now in his 3rd season as Music Director of the Denver Young Artists Orchestra, the premiere youth orchestra in Colorado and will take that orchestra to Carnegie Hall for three concerts next June.
Mr. Kenney is also currently in his thirteenth season as Music Director of the Fort Collins Symphony. In the summer of 2004 he was named to an additional post of Music Director of Opera Fort Collins helping that organization establish a full season of three productions a season. Mr. Kenney was named in November 2009 that year’s Outstanding Teacher by the Colorado American String Teachers Association. He was also awarded the Grand Prize in the Summer 2007 Varna (Bulgaria) International Conducting Competition. He traveled back to Bulgaria in March 2008 for concerts in Vidin and to conduct La Traviata in Stara Zagora.
Mr. Kenney is a frequent guest conductor of professional and educational ensembles. He has appeared in the past three seasons with the Colorado Symphony, Lafayette (IN) Symphony, Alabama All-State, the Acadiana (La) Symphony, the Denver Philharmonic and the New Mexico All-State Orchestra. Prior to that, Maestro Kenney has guest conducted at the Edinburgh Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Buffalo Philharmonic, returned to the New Mexico Symphony for tours and performances of The Nutcracker and had debut with the Williamsburg Symphonia (VA). In six seasons as the Virginia Symphony's Associate Conductor, Mr. Kenney appeared more than 350 times with that orchestra. Awarded the prestigious Carmen Dragon Conducting Prize in 1992, Wes Kenney served as Music Director of the Oakland Youth Orchestra for five seasons.
Mr. Kenney has also enjoyed success directing from the orchestra pit for opera, ballet, and musical theater. During the 2015-16 Season he will conduct productions of The Cosi fan tutte, Daughter of the Regiment, Marriage of Figaro, and Verdi’s Otello. He has conducted over 50 different productions ranging from Don Giovanni to Sweeney Todd since his arrival in Colorado.
Mr. Kenney is also in demand as a conducting pedagogue. He has taught alongside Jorge Mester in a Conductors Guild sponsored workshop at CSU. In the summer of 2011 he was a guest lecturer at the Conductor’s Institute held at Bard College in upstate New York, teaching alongside founder Harold Farberman and American Symphony Orchestra Music Director Leon Botstein. He is one of the founders of the CSU Summer Master’s Degree program in conducting, designed to allow Music Educators the opportunity to earn a graduate degree while furthering their conducting studies and remaining in their current position.