The Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) Associate is pleased to announce the appointment of Benjamin Firer as Interim QCSYE Music Director. An award-winning conductor, Firer is the assistant conductor with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Director at Northeastern Illinois University. He received his Doctorate in Orchestral Conducting from Northwestern University and a master’s degree from Yale University. As an orchestral musician, he has recorded for the Naxos and Albany labels.
As a frequent guest conductor, Firer has made appearances with the symphony orchestras of Milwaukee, Altoona, Champaign-Urbana, Dubuque, DuPage, Miami, Fargo-Morehead, Orchestra de la Francophonie, and the Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra.
Passionate about inspiring the next generation of musicians, Firer led the Dubuque Symphony Youth Orchestra during their 50th anniversary season, culminating in a side-by-side concert with the acclaimed Minneapolis Youth Symphony. A committed educator, he was engaged as a teaching artist through the Yale University Music in Schools Initiative, providing instruction at the John C. Daniels Magnet School while serving as Music Director of the Yale-Saybrook College Orchestra.
Firer was selected as an Emerging Conductor with the Peninsula Music Festival and as the conducting fellow for the Atlantic Music Festival. He has garnered awards including The American Prize in Conducting, The Woolsey Concerto Competition, Yale Chamber Music Competition, Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship, and the Long Island University Conductors Award. Recognized for his musical entrepreneurship, he was granted the SUNY Thayer Fellowship in the Arts and the Emma Peters Hooper Endowed Award.
The Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles (QCSYE) program consists of four youth orchestras for students in grades two through twelve. Under the direction of the outstanding QCSYE conducting staff, members have the opportunity to perform great orchestral repertoire with the most talented young musicians in the area and learn from the mentorship of professional musicians from throughout the region. Ensemble members come from the greater Quad Cities, as well as other communities in southeast Iowa and northwest Illinois.