Although his credentials are outstanding, we find Maestro Stelluto excels at his role here also because he is such an approachable individual. He makes the music accessible for we who are untrained and approach PSO concerts with happy anticipation but not significant musical education.
Our warmest regards go to the musicians of PSO who perform beautifully, giving a voice to Peoria that rises above the day to day concerns of life, lifts our emotions, and revives our spirits. They are our neighbors and friends and share their talents and artistry with us all so that the mundane does not define us.
– Diane and Greg Flebbe
Award-winning American conductor George Stelluto is acclaimed for his compelling, inspired performances of repertoire from the Baroque to present day. As Music Director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Ravinia Festival, and a member of The Juilliard School faculty, he has established himself as a versatile conductor comfortable in many styles and genres.
He made critically acclaimed debuts with the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra, Nordwestduetsche Philharmonie (Germany), and the Orquestra Jovem do Estado Sao Paulo (Brazil). Other guest appearances include: The Juilliard Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica del Ecuador, Ukrainian National Orchestra, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, New York City Ballet, Transylvania State Philharmonic (Romania), ICE, and Juilliard’s “Beyond the Machine” and AXIOM. He made his Avery Fisher Hall debut with the Juilliard Orchestra in May 2008 and his international debut at The Kiev International Music Festival in 2000 where he gave the Ukrainian premiere of Samuel Barber’s Second Essay for Orchestra. Subsequent acclaimed premieres there include William Schuman’s Symphony #5, Barber’s First Essay, and Ewazen’s Chamber Symphony. He worked extensively with the Central Conservatory Orchestra in Beijing as part of the conducting staff for The Juilliard Orchestra’s 2008 tour of China and for the school’s 2005-2006 100th Anniversary Tours of Europe and America – premiering Senderovas’ Fanfare at the Berlin Konzerthaus. From 1998-2007, George Stelluto was Music Director of the Las Vegas Music Festival. He is the founder of the Illinois New Music Festival, which debuted in 2010 and repeats once every several years with unifying themes relating musical expression and society. He has collaborated with solo artists such as Sarah Chang, Bela Fleck, Andre Watts, Edgar Meyer, Heidi Grant Murphy, Hilary Hahn, Jeff Nelsen, Marc Coppey and Samuel Ramey; actors Kate Mulgrew and Isaac Mizrahi; and many young rising stars such as Charles Yang, Veronika Eberle, Benjamin Moser, Anna Lee, Conrad Tao and Sirena Huang. His numerous contemporary premieres include works by Philippe Bodin, Bela Fleck, Virko Baley, Huang Ruo, Paul Desenne, Armand Ranjbaran, and Theodore Antoniou.
In performance, reviews, interviews, and recordings, George Stelluto has been featured in print, radio, and television throughout the Americas and Europe. His Pasadena Symphony Orchestra debut received rave reviews from four LA area newspapers including a Los Angeles Times article with the headline: A Welcome Guest – Could He Become a Fixture Here? The New York Times wrote of his performance of “Opus Jazz”: “Robert Prince’s score swings and slinks. The Juilliard Orchestra, with members of Juilliard Dance and Jazz, conducted by George Stelluto, sounded sharp.” His appointment as Music Director of the Peoria Symphony came after a concert The Peoria Star-Journal described as “electrifying” and “a moment of coming together not just of the music, but of a conductor and an orchestra.” Call Back Magazine, wrote of his performance of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro: “Vocally, musically, and dramatically it didn’t miss a beat. … Stelluto conducted with taste, balance, and firm control of players and singers“.
Beyond his conducting interests, Maestro Stelluto is also involved in cultural advocacy, arts education, and arranging. The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, and the Juilliard Orchestra have performed his orchestral reduction of Schreker’s overture to the opera Die Gezeichneten. His reduction of the entire opera was premiered by the Los Angeles Opera in April 2010 and will be published by Universal in Vienna. Opera Lyon (France), will perform his edition of Die Gezeichneten this season. His reduction of Grosz’ Afrika Songs was premiered in 2011 at the Ravinia Festival.He has published several co-authored articles on leadership (Leadership Quarterly, 2004) and given presentations about conductors as leadership models for business organizations. Additionally, he has published numerous articles in the Juilliard Journal on topics ranging from Health Care to Arts Funding and his new blog “Stelluto Offstage” has already developed quite a following. He speaks often in United States, South America, and Europe on “Building Cultural Infrastructure”©, a presentation on ensuring the future of the Arts. He has served as a board member and consultant to many American and international arts organizations such as Cultures in Harmony, Ecuador’s Sinfonia por La Vida, the Central Illinois Youth Symphony, and West Virginia University’s College of Creative Arts.
A member of Juilliard’s College and Pre-College faculties, he has worked with the Orchestral, Dance, Vocal, and Jazz divisions at Juilliard, as well as the Pre-College Symphony (PCS), for over seven years. His performances with PCS are a regular feature on WQXR, New York. He also regularly prepares the Juilliard Orchestra for esteemed guest conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Pierre Boulez, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Andre Previn. Through the Juilliard Global Initiative, he conducted the debut concert of the GURI Orchestra in Sao Paulo, Brazil (returning every year since) and worked with the Escuela Superior de Musica in Mexico City. At Ravinia, he conducted Classical Kids Live! productions of “Beethoven Lives Upstairs”, “Tchaikovsky Discovers America”, and “Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage”. In 2009, he finished a two-year collaboration with the Inter-School Orchestras culminating in concerts combining New York’s public and private school musicians with students from the Juilliard School, Columbia University, and members of the Vienna Philharmonic. He recently taught conducting masterclasses at The Juilliard School and Illinois State University.
George Stelluto is Juilliard’s only Artist Diploma recipient in conducting. He also holds two Master’s Degrees (Violin & Conducting) from the Yale School of Music and a Bachelor’s Degree in Violin from West Virginia University, summa cum laude. He has performed at many summer festivals both as a conductor and chamber musician, including Ravinia, Aspen, Peter Britt, Focus!, Kiev International, and Ukrainian Summer. He is the recipient of a 2012 ASCAP Award for Adventuresome Programming, the 2013 Illinois Council of Orchestra’s “Orchestra of the Year Award”, the Nevada Regents Creativity Award, and the Bruno Walter Memorial Fellowship to Juilliard.