Widely recognized for his ability to combine precision and passion, conductor Steven Lipsitt made his Boston Lyric Opera debut in February 2011 to sold-out houses and rave reviews in The Wall Street Journal ("an incisive performance"), The New York Times ("Steven Lipsitt led a vital, perfectly paced reading"), and Opera News, ("a major triumph…a fiercely intelligent production….performed beautifully under the guidance of conductor Steven Lipsitt" ).
Music Director of the Boston Classical Orchestra since 1999, Mr. Lipsitt has remarkably brought this professional chamber orchestra to the front ranks of Boston's musical life with freshly designed, vividly realized programs of four centuries of music. Both critics and audiences have hailed his "razor-sharp intelligence, balanced by a generosity of spirit," his "committed, vigorous and often driving performance," and his "impressive demonstration of talent and discipline," which led The Boston Globe's Richard Dyer to observe, "Lipsitt led with style, affection, and panache. Good things are happening at Boston Classical Orchestra."
First Prize Laureate of the inaugural "Dimitris Mitropoulos" International Conducting Competition in 1996, Steven Lipsitt made his Russian debut with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic in 1997, and is a frequent international guest conductor of orchestras, including the Athens Kamerata, the West Czech Symphonic Orchestra, the State Symphony Orchestra of São Paulo, the Thunder Bay (Canada) Symphony Orchestra, the Chinese National Opera Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Camerata of the Hermitage Museum, the Colorado Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony, the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, the Spokane Symphony Orchestra, and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. Foreign critics have hailed his "exalted and well-structured interpretations" (Le Monde de la Musique, Paris) and "soaring conductor-debut" (Musik & Theater, Zurich) and praised his "technically and expressively balanced interpretations" (Adesmeftos Typos, Athens).
As a conductor of opera, ballet, and musical theater, Steven Lipsitt has collaborated with Scottish Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, English National Opera, Boston Ballet, St. Louis Ballet, the Boston Music Theater Project, Boston Conservatory Opera Theatre, and Opera-at-Longy. He has worked with directors Robert Carsen, James Hammerstein, and Gerald Gutierrez, and choreographers Peter Martins and Daniel Pelzig. He conducted twenty performances of Carousel at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington with actors Faith Prince, Tom Wopat, and John Spencer. His concert performance of scenes from Boris Godunov was called "an astonishingly vivid account" by The Boston Globe's Richard Buell, who wrote: "Steven Lipsitt's conducting showed real mastery." His New York concert opera conducting debut in 1994 was called "compelling" by The New York Times' Allan Kozinn.
Also dedicated to the training of young musicians, Steven Lipsitt has served on the conducting faculties of the Tanglewood Institute, New England Conservatory, the Hartt School of Music, Boston Conservatory, and Boston University, and has prepared student orchestras for Kurt Masur, Christoph von Dohnányi, Leon Kirchner, Luciano Berio, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Sergiu Comissiona, and Gunther Schuller. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Yale University, where he studied with Otto-Werner Mueller, and participated in masterclasses with Herbert Blomstedt, Helmuth Rilling, Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux School, and Gustav Meier at Tanglewood. His earlier training included clarinet studies with the Boston Symphony's Pasquale Cardillo and Yale's Keith Wilson, vocal studies with Joan Heller and Phyllis Curtin, composition studies with Martin Bresnick and Jacob Druckman, and improvisation studies with John Mehegan.
Lipsitt has been the music director of the Boston Classical Orchestra, transforming it into one of the most lively and musically solid ensembles in town.
Lipsitt has moved the orchestra significantly forward as well, from initiating new educational outreach projects with Boston schools to more expansive programming. With a relatively small budget, he has positioned the orchestra as an integral part of the area's artistic landscape, focusing mainly on baroque and classical music, with forays into accessible music written especially for the group. He programs music to complement the scale, beauty and history of the hall.
Conducting from memory, Lipsitt led a committed, vigorous and often driving performance of this early [Mendelssohn] score.
Lipsitt was a graceful, precise and elegant presence on the podium. He was clear and unobtrusive, but shared a wonderful electrical connection with the BCO musicians --- who obviously enjoy working with him.
"…thoughtfully programmed concert…excellent balance, beauty of tone…a sumptuous rendition of Brahms' Serenade No. 2 which Lipsitt conducted …with great warmth and delicacy…this performance was lyrical and transparent, letting [Brahms'] melodic gifts sing."
() – October 24, 2011