Gary S. Fagin has conducted, composed, orchestrated and arranged music for symphony orchestras across the country, ballet, Broadway and Off-Broadway, Public Radio, regional and
repertory theaters and university and conservatory orchestras.
Mr. Fagin is Founder and Music Director of New York City’s Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra, and is in his 17th season as Music Director of the Bucks County Symphony Orchestra. He conducts the New Jersey Ballet’s annual production of The Nutcracker with the New Jersey Symphony and has appeared as conductor with numerous regional orchestras.
Mr Fagin served as Musical Director and Conductor for seven years at the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven and for three seasons at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, during which time he was assistant conductor, conductor, or music director of a series of productions of works by Kurt Weill, including The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny; Mahogonny Songspiel; Happy End (for which he prepared and edited for The Kurt Weill Foundation the piano-vocal score and instrumental parts for Michael Feingold’s adaptation); Berlin Requiem; and Seven Deadly Sins.
His many theater music directing or conducting credits include three productions of The Three Penny Opera: assistant conductor of the Broadway production with Sting; music director of the Atlantic Theater’s production directed by Martha Clarke; and music director and Kurt Weill Foundation Mentor for a production at Montclair (NJ) University. He composed, orchestrated, and conducted the music for Charlotte: Life? Or Theater?, a music-theater work based on the life and work of artist Charlotte Salomon, which received its world premiere performance at the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia and has been performed in concert version in Washington, D.C., St. Petersburg, Russia, London and Amsterdam. His Dramatic Song Cycle, John Adams in Amsterdam: A Song for Abigail, with lyrics by Terry Quinn, received its world premiere performance at The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam before Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands.
In 2009 he was commissioned by the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts to compose a musical work celebrating the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s sail into New York harbor. The composition, And Bold To Fall Withal, Henry Hudson in the New World, was given its world premiere performance in January 2010 with tenor Jason Danieley and the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra at New York City’s World Financial Center Winter Garden. In January 2011, Mr. Fagin’s music theater work, Robert Moses Astride New York, received its premiere performance at the World Financial Center Winter Garden, with the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra and tenor Rinde Eckert singing the title role. The KCO has also premiered many other of Mr. Fagin’s original compositions and arrangements, including most recently Supreme Justice: The Battle For Gay Rights, featuring soprano Lucy Shelton as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and tenor John Duykers as Antonin Scalia (2016); The Winter Garden Waltzes (2018); and The Struggle To Forgive: Confronting Gun Violence in America (2018), featuring Mikaela Bennett, Sarah Heltzel, and Jorell Williams.
In addition to his compositions for orchestra and music-theater, Mr. Fagin has composed works for chamber ensembles, piano and voice and solo instruments. He studied composition with George Crumb and George Rochberg at The University of Pennsylvania; violoncello with Orlando Cole of The Curtis Quartet; and conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller at The Yale School of Music, where he received the first Doctorate Degree in Conducting ever awarded by Yale. He was a Conducting Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, Herbert Blomsted's Conducting Institute in Loma Linda, CA and was twice chosen for the Conducting Seminar at Tanglewood.
He pursued post-graduate conducting studies at The Hochschule für Musik, Berlin, and holds a Certificate from the Kodály Institute of Pedagogy in Kescemet, Hungary. Mr. Fagin was Assistant Professor and Conductor at The University of Wisconsin-Madison and later Hofstra University. He has taught at Yale University, The Juilliard School, The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and New York University. He is Founder and Director of The New York Conducting Studio; his students conduct major and regional orchestras, on Broadway, and attend America's most prestigious music conservatories. For four seasons Mr. Fagin's arrangements were broadcast weekly on Garrison Keillor's PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION on American Public Radio. He has orchestrated music for the Boston Pops, Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Sandy Duncan, Tom Chapin and for recordings by Rob Fisher & The Coffee Club Orchestra and The Manhattan Rhythm Kings. Peer Southern Concert Music publishes his RAG CONCERTINA, an arrangement of three rags for piano solo and orchestra. He has transcribed works of Duke Ellington for The Smithsonian Jazz Anthology, a project overseen by Gunther Schuller. As a cellist and bassist he recorded with the folk musician Bill Crofut.
Gary S. Fagin
Links to Gary's work, and more!
https://soundcloud.com/garysfagin - Gary's Soundcloud page with dozens of audio excerpts
Video and audio:
https://vimeo.com/29146065 - Video excerpt to the live Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra performance of my “Robert Moses Astride New York,” featuring Rinde Eckert as Robert Moses
https://vimeo.com/29146337 - Video excerpt to the live Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra performance of Igor Stravinsky’s “L-histoire du soldat” featuring Jody Oberfelder Dance Project