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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Communications
(714) 876-2380

Pacific Symphony Promotes Roger Kalia, Assistant Conductor, To Position Of Associate Conductor; Contract Extended Through August 31, 2020

Orange County, CA — January 24, 2019

Pacific Symphony announces the promotion of Assistant Conductor Roger Kalia to the position of Associate Conductor as well as his contract extension through August 31, 2020. It’s been four years since the Symphony first announced Kalia as its second in command (under Music Director Carl St.Clair). Kalia’s position, endowed by The Mary E. Moore Family, began at the start of the 2015-16 season. In addition to assisting St.Clair with conducting duties, Kalia has played—and will continue to play—a vital role in the Symphony’s education initiatives. These include programming and conducting the Family Musical Mornings series presented by Farmers & Merchants Bank, which introduces children ages 5 to 11 to the exciting world of orchestral music through engaging and educational concerts.

“Roger has made important musical contributions to Pacific Symphony,” says Maestro St.Clair. “In just a little over three short years, he has gained the respect of the musicians and also the staff with whom he works very closely. Because of the wonderful job he has done, we were pleased to offer Roger this promotion to the position of Associate Conductor and also to extend his contract to August 31, 2020.”

Roger Kalia commented, “I am thrilled to have been promoted to Associate Conductor with Pacific Symphony. I am extremely grateful to Maestro St.Clair and the amazing musicians and staff of Pacific Symphony for their trust and support in me. It will be very special to be a part of Maestro St.Clair’s 30th anniversary as music director, which is a momentous occasion. I have made so many special memories with this organization—from the tours to Carnegie Hall and China to the PBS Great Performances broadcast. I look forward to continuing my work with the fantastic Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra, and conducting Pacific Symphony in our Family Musical Mornings, Class Act Youth Concerts and other exciting projects.”  

Roger Kalia continues in his role as music director of Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra (PSYO), a premier training orchestra for instrumentalists in grades 9-12, preparing them for a three-concert series each season. Among his many accomplishments with the Symphony thus far, Kalia led the youth orchestra on its highly successful 10-day international tour to China in June 2016. Kalia continued: “One of the great joys of my position is serving as Music Director of the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra. Over the past four seasons, we have accomplished so much together. I am constantly inspired by their talent and creativity, and I cannot wait to continue our work together.”  

Additionally, Kalia’s duties will include welcoming more than 12,000 elementary school children to the concert hall at the end of each of the next two school years for the Class Act Youth Concerts, which annually conclude a year of music lessons and performances in Orange County schools given by Symphony musicians.

Hailed as a conductor who leads with “passionate intensity” and recognized as “one to watch,” Roger Kalia is one of America’s most exciting young conductors. A three-time recipient (2018, 2017, and 2013) of The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, Kalia was recently named Music Director of Orchestra Santa Monica. He is in his fourth season as Assistant Conductor of Pacific Symphony and Music Director of the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra. Kalia also serves as Co-Founder and Music Director of the Lake George Music Festival in upstate New York, which was recently featured in the League of American Orchestra’s Symphony Magazine as one of the premier summer classical music festivals in the country. 

Prior to joining Pacific Symphony, Kalia held conducting positions with the Charlotte Symphony, the Young Musicians Foundation (YMF) Debut Orchestra and the Columbus (IN) Symphony Orchestra. Born and raised in New York, Kalia resides in Southern California with his wife, musicologist/violinist Christine Wisch, and their dog Burney.


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