Meet Roger Kalia – OSM’s new Conductor and Music Director
Hailed as a conductor who leads with “passionate intensity” and recognized as “one to watch,” Roger Kalia is one of America’s most exciting young conductors. A three-time recipient (2018, 2017, 2013) of The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, Kalia was recently appointed Music Director of Orchestra Santa Monica. Kalia is currently entering his fourth season as Assistant Conductor of the Pacific Symphony and Music Director of the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra. Kalia also serves as Co-Founder and Music Director of the Lake George Music Festival in upstate New York, which was recently featured in the League of American Orchestra’s Symphony Magazine as one of the premier summer classical music festivals in the country.
In addition to his current positions, Kalia is in consistent demand as a guest conductor. In the 2017-2018 season, he made his European subscription debut with the Szczecin Philharmonic in Poland, led the Camarada Chamber Orchestra of San Diego, conducted the Bakersfield Symphony in their annual Gala concert, and collaborated with the Orange County Music and Dance School in a benefit concert titled “From Classical to Rock”. Upcoming engagements for the 2018-2019 season include debuts with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra and Symphony New Hampshire, conducting the Lake George Music Festival Symphony Orchestra, and collaborating with PROJECT Trio at the Lake George Music Festival. Additional recent guest conducting engagements include the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, Chicago Sinfonietta at Symphony Hall, Long Beach Symphony, Great Falls Symphony, Owensboro Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, and Adrian Symphony.
Passionate about teaching the next generation of musicians, Kalia maintains a regular teaching relationship with the Colburn School and Cal State Fullerton, and he recently conducted the Missouri All-State Symphony Orchestra. As an educator, Kalia has created family and educational concerts for orchestras across the country in a variety of concert formats including the use of multimedia, semi-staged operas, and collaborations with groups such as Cirque de la Symphony, Orange County’s Festival Ballet Theater, speed painter Dan Dunn, the Magic Circle Mime Co., Really Inventive Stuff, and TV personality Randy Jackson.
As an advocate of modern music, Kalia has commissioned and programmed more than 100 works by some of America’s most innovative living composers including Mason Bates, Chris Rogerson, David Lang, Narong Prangcharoen, Harry Stafylakis, and Paul Chihara, among others.
Kalia started his career as Music Director of the YMF Debut Orchestra of Los Angeles (2012-2015), following in the footsteps of such conductors as Michael Tilson Thomas and Andre Previn. Kalia led the orchestra in a variety of repertoire from Mozart through music by acclaimed video game and film composers.
Born and raised in New York, Kalia resides in Southern California with his wife, musicologist/violinist Christine Wisch, and their dog Burney.