Music Director - Lois Ferrari
Lois Ferrari is Professor of Music at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas and has been a member of the faculty since 1993. Dr. Ferrari conducts the SU Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and also teaches beginning and advanced conducting. Her ensembles have premiered many new works (recently, a full-length opera), performed at professional conferences, and welcomed renowned guest artists such as Donald Hunsberger, Susan Rider, and Rodney Winther. Many of Dr. Ferrari's students have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in conducting at prestigious institutions such as the Peabody Institute, the Ithaca College School of Music, the University of Houston, and the University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Ferrari also serves as host and clinician for the bi-annual SU Conductors’ Institute in instrumental conducting.
As ACO Music Director, Dr. Ferrari was honored in 2010 as the first woman to conduct a performance at the Long Center for the Performing Arts (Austin). In addition, she and the Orchestra have been named finalists for the 2012 American Prize in community orchestra performance and orchestral conducting.
Over the years, Dr. Ferrari has brought many celebrated guest artists to the ACO stage: Peter Bay, Lauren Lane, Jessica Mathaes, Anton Nel, Michelle Schumann, Andrew Sords, and David Whitwell, just to name a few. She has also been intimately involved with nurturing future virtuosi through the ACO's annual Pearl Amster Youth Concerto Festival. An enthusiastic champion of new music, Dr. Ferrari founded the bi-annual ACO Composition Contest and is proud to have premiered more than twenty works during the course of her career, such as Jason Hoogerhyde’s Lament which was nominated by the Austin Critics’ Table for Best Symphonic Performance of 2009. In 2012, the ACO will present the Texas premiere David Amram’s Symphonic Variations on a Song of Woody Guthrie.
A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting, Dr. Ferrari was a recipient of a full doctoral fellowship and was appointed Assistant Conductor of the renowned Eastman Wind Ensemble. Sh also earned a Master of Music degree in conducting and a Bachelor of Music degree with a double major in performance and music education from the Ithaca College School of Music. Her principal teachers have included Donald Hunsberger, Rodney Winther, David Effron, and Donald Neuen.
When she isn’t busy with musical endeavors, Dr. Ferrari loves to indulge an interest in playwriting/screenwriting and has won several awards for her efforts. Her not-so-secret secrets include a new passion for golf and old passions for baseball and late-night video games. Originally a Long Islander, Dr. Ferrari now resides in Georgetown with her husband, Dr. Paul Gaffney, and their two cats, Buddha and Gandhi.
2012-2013 is Lois Ferrari's eleventh season with the ACO.