Susan Davenny Wyner, Conductor
Susan Davenny Wyner has received national acclaim for her conducting. The Library of Congress featured her in its 2003 "Women Who Dare" Engagement Calendar, and the MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour and WGBH Television have presented special documentary features on her life and work.
The New York Times called her conducting “richly textured and emotionally compelling.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer hailed her as "a galvanizing presence" and went on to state: “Wyner...defines those attributes reserved for the finest conductors. She has a firm vision of how a score should sound, an instinctive feel for texture and phrasing, and the ability to communicate ideas with almost laser-beam exactness to colleagues.” The Los Angeles Times praised her "sensitive and thoughtful leadership,” The Chicago Tribune celebrated her "rousing and joyous" conducting, and The Boston Globe stated: “Wyner conducts with lucidly passionate specificity; she is musically and emotionally fearless" – and four times selected her conducted
performances of concerts and opera as among the "Best Musical Events of the Year".
Susan Davenny Wyner's conducting credits include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Lyric Opera, Cleveland Orchestra members in three special benefit concerts, and the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. André Previn, Lynn Harrell, Claude Frank, Peter Serkin, Emanuel Ax, Richard Stoltzman, and Robert Levin have been among her guest soloists. She has conducted concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, in Italy and the Czech Republic, at the Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals, in Chicago's Orchestra Hall, as well as in New York and for CBS Radio. In 1998, The American Symphony Orchestra League named her a Catherine Filene Shouse Conductor – a first-time award given by a national panel of conductors and orchestral managers to conductors poised for major careers.v
She has conducted a wide range of repertoire —symphonic, opera, oratorio, and choral—from the 14th to 21st centuries and has garnered praise for her work with period instruments as well as for her performances of works just composed. The New York Times singled out her premiere recordings of Adler’s Concertino #3 with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony and Fussell’s “Keep the river on your right” for Albany Records, and when she conducted Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah for Lake George Opera Opera News praised the “terrific lyrical moments under Susan Davenny Wyner’s deft baton.”
From 1999-2005 she was Music Director and Conductor of The New England String Ensemble in Boston, a professional string orchestra that she brought to national prominence. Under her direction, the orchestra received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Koussevitsky Foundation of the Library of Congress, the Copland Foundation, was presented by the Bank of Boston Celebrity Series, and was regularly broadcast and recorded by WGBH radio.
She has been Music Director and Conductor of The Warren Philharmonic Orchestra since 1999 and of Opera Western Reserve based at Stambaugh Auditorium in Youngstown, Ohio, since its creation in 2004.
Trained initially as a violinist and violist, Susan Davenny Wyner went on to an international career as a soprano—performing with the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the London Symphony, and the New York, Los Angeles, and Israel Philharmonics, among many others. Her eloquent voice and musicianship led to frequent engagements with such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, Erich Leinsdorf, André Previn, Lorin Maazel, Robert Shaw, Neville Marriner, Seiji Ozawa, and Michael Tilson Thomas. She recorded for Columbia Masterworks, Angel/EMI, Naxos, New World, CRI and Musical Heritage.
Ms. Davenny Wyner graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University with degrees in both comparative literature and music. She continued her studies at Yale and Columbia Universities and received conducting fellowships for study at the Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals as well as at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute. She has held conducting positions at the New England Conservatory, The Cleveland Institute of Music, Wellesley College, Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival, and at Brandeis and Cornell Universities.