Music Director and Conductor
Jean and Willard Garvey Endowed Chair
The 2017-2018 season marks Daniel Hege’s eighth as Music Director and Conductor of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. Hege is the seventh music director in the Orchestra’s 74-year history. He has been widely recognized as one of America’s finest conductors, earning critical acclaim for his fresh interpretations of the standard repertoire and for his commitment to creative programming. He served for eleven seasons as the Music Director of the Syracuse Symphony and was appointed Music Director of the Wichita Symphony in June 2009. As of the 2015/16 season, he was named Principal Guest Conductor of the Tulsa Symphony, and during the 2016/17 season served as the Principal Guest Conductor of the Binghamton (NY) Philharmonic.
Additional positions include a five year tenure with the Baltimore Symphony where he held the titles of Assistant, Associate and Resident Conductor, Associate Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony, Assistant Conductor of the Pacific Symphony, Music Director of the Encore Chamber Orchestra in Chicago and Music Director of the Chicago Youth Symphony, where he was twice honored by the League of American Orchestras for innovative programming.
In addition to programming and conducting the subscription concerts in Wichita, Mr. Hege has conducted a number of cutting edge concerts, including Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle with the legendary Samuel Ramey in the title role and with sets by the glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, and a semi-staged production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel in collaboration with Music Theatre Wichita. He is also active in Wichita as a lecturer and prepares the pre-concert talks for each of his classical programs.
Daniel Hege has guest conducted the Detroit, Seattle, Indianapolis, Oregon, Colorado, San Diego, Columbus, and Phoenix symphonies as well as the Calgary Philharmonic, among others. International engagements include performances with the Singapore Symphony and the St. Petersburg Symphony at the Winter Nights Festival. Mr. Hege has also worked with the Syracuse Opera with which he led productions of Madame Butterfly, La Traviata, Tosca and Don Pasquale. Recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Rochester, Buffalo, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Naples Philharmonics; the Louisville, Sarasota and Florida Orchestras; and the Houston, Edmonton, Pacific, Puerto Rico, Hartford, Omaha, Madison, Tucson, Charleston and Virginia symphonies.
Sought after as an educator and mentor by many of America’s orchestral training programs for highly talented young musicians, Daniel Hege has appeared with the Texas Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, and the Aspen Music Festival and School.
Daniel Hege received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1987 from Bethel College, Kansas where he majored in music and history. He continued his studies at the University of Utah, where he received a Master of Music degree in orchestra conducting and also founded the University Chamber Orchestra and served as Assistant Conductor of the University Orchestra and Music Director of the Utah Singers. He subsequently studied with Paul Vermel at the Aspen Music Festival and in Los Angeles with noted conductor and pedagogue Daniel Lewis.
In May 2004, Mr. Hege was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Le Moyne College in Syracuse for his contributions to the cultural life in central New York State. Born in Colorado, Mr. Hege currently resides in Syracuse with his wife and their three daughters.