Image Courtesy of Arnaldo Colombarolli, Teatro Colon

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Dr. Glenn Block

Glenn Block is in his 28th year as the Director of Orchestras and Professor of Conducting at Illinois State University. From 1983 to 2007, he led the Kansas City Youth Symphony program to being one of the largest and most recognized youth symphony programs in the country. He led the Youth Symphony on four international tours to Spain (1992), Canada (1996), Italy (2000), and Budapest/Vienna/Prague (2004) and three national tours to Chicago, St. Louis, and New York’s Carnegie Hall. Prior to coming to Illinois in the fall of 1990, Dr. Block served for 15 years as Director of Orchestras and Professor of Conducting at the Conservatory of Music of the University of Missouri at Kansas City and Music Director of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. From 1972 to 1974, he was Music Director of the San Diego Chamber Orchestra and from 1968 to 1974, he served as Principal Double Bass of the San Diego Symphony and Opera Orchestras.

Born in Brooklyn, Dr. Block was educated at the Eastman School of Music. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego. A frequent guest conductor, he has appeared in 42 states conducting all-state orchestras and teaching, performing master classes, and conducting professional orchestras in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and South America. Foreign guest conducting assignments have been to the Fountainbleau Conservatoire in France, and in Spain, Canada, Colombia, Estonia, Russia, Italy and in beginning in 2012 to Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay making annual trips. In the fall of 2015. he made his conducting debut at the Teatro Colon in Buenas Aires.

Dr. Block has served on the faculty of the National Music Camp at Interlochen as Resident Conductor of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, and at the Interlochen Arts Academy as Visiting Conductor. In addition, he has served as Music Director of the Summer Festival Orchestra at the Rocky Ridge Music Center in Estes Park, Colorado. An active researcher, he has been the recipient of numerous Illinois State University, University of Missouri and National Endowment of the Humanities grants that have resulted in critical editions of the Orchestral music of Igor Stravinsky, Charles Ives, and George Gershwin. In 1985, he was appointed Research Consultant to the Orchestra Library Information Service of the American Symphony Orchestra League, where responsibilities included the organization of critical sources and errata information for the orchestral repertoire housed in a national database in Washington D.C. He has served as a member of the national Board of Directors of the Conductors Guild of America, representing over 1,000 professional conductors, and the Board of Directors of the American Symphony Orchestra League.

In 2018 to 2019, Dr. Block returns to guest conduct and lead conducting seminars in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Italy, China, and Vietnam, in addition to his concerts in the United States. He was invited to serve as Principal Guest Conductor with the National Symphony of Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City for the 2017 -2018 season. In June 2017, Dr. Block returned to Argentina to guest conduct the Orquesta Sinfonica de Salta, the National Youth Orchestra of Argentina on tour to Buenos Aires, the Filharmonica de Chascomus, and was invited to lead the V. International Seminar in Orchestral Conducting at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina.