Douglas Newell, Music Director
There's never a need to feel intimidated by symphonic music when Douglas Newell is your host. Whether explaining the intricacies of the great classics or sharing stories of how a popular song came into existence, his personable manner makes every concert enlightening and enjoyable. From the moment he takes the podium, he creates an atmosphere of contagious joy in the concert hall. You'll always feel welcome, informed and entertained in Symphony Hall.
Douglas Newell is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts and the New England Conservatory of Music. He completed special studies in composition at the Governor’s School of North Carolina and in conducting at the Aspen Music School. His conducting mentors include Laszlo Halasz, founder of the New York City Opera; Jean Paul Morel, conductor of the Julliard School of Music and Metropolitan Opera; Richard Pitman, founder of the Boston Musica Viva; Pulitzer Prize winning composer/conductor Robert Ward, bassoonist Mark Popkin at the North Carolina School of the Arts and Erich Leinsdorf at the New York Philharmonic Conductor’s Symposium.
Prior to becoming Music Director of the ESO, Maestro Newell served as Music Director of the Boston Summer Opera Theater, Baylor University Opera Theater and Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the New England Conservatory Repertory Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and Knoxville Chamber Orchestra. Among the other orchestras Mr. Newell has conducted are the Richmond (VA) Sinfonia, the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, the San Diego Symphony, the Boston Musica Viva, the Concord (MA) Orchestra, the Charlotte (NC) Symphony, Western Piedmont Symphony (NC), the North Carolina School of the Arts Symphony and NCSA Chamber Orchestra. In Oklahoma Maestro Newell has guest conducted the Lawton Philharmonic, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra, Oklahoma Community Orchestra and the Canterbury Choral Society.
The musical talents of Douglas Newell have touched audiences throughout the Oklahoma. He has conducted ESO performances in Muskogee, Oklahoma City’s Civic Center Music Hall with the Canterbury Choral Society, the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, the National Western Heritage Museum, the Gala Opening Concert of the Quartz Mountain Performing Arts Facility, the Northwest Oklahoma Concert Series in Alva, the Woodward Arts Theater, the Poncan Theater in Ponca City, and in Weatherford. Maestro Newell and the ESO have recorded an album entitled Oklahoma, Where the West Remains with western artist RW Hampton. The album was the recipient of a Wrangler Award from the National Western Heritage Museum as Album of the Year in the field of traditional Cowboy music.
In April of 2019, Maestro Newell conducted the University of Central Oklahoma Opera Theatre in a production of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte. When not on the podium, Douglas may be found at the piano accompanying his favorite soprano Lawana Newell in a program entitled The Maestro and the Missus. A poignant albeit serendipitous look at love, the program features songs of Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Cole Porter.