ALLEN ROBERT GROSS has been lauded worldwide for his imaginative and probing interpretations of the standard and contemporary orchestral and chamber orchestra repertoires. His international conducting appearances have been throughout Europe, including concerts in international festivals in Italy, Spain, Poland and the Czech Republic. Guest invitations have also taken him to China and Cuba, where he conducted the Orquesta Sinfónica de Matanzas as part of the international Festival of Contemporary Music in that country. During his twenty-one year tenure as Music Director and Conductor of the Santa Monica Symphony, Gross established that orchestra as one of the leading community orchestras in the country. Gross is also Professor of Music at Occidental College, and a member of the music faculty at the California institute of Technology, where he conducts the Caltech-Occidental Symphony.
Born in New York City, Gross began his professional conducting career in Germany, where he served as Musical Director of the Heidelberg Castle Festival and Conductor of the Junges Kammerorchester Heidelberg, and held conducting positions in the opera houses of Freiburg and Aachen. With the Junges Kammerorchester Heidelberg, he made a number of studio recordings for the South German Radio. He came to Los Angeles in 1983 to assume the direction of the Occidental-Caltech Symphony. He holds a Doctorate in Conducting from Stanford University, and degrees in Music and Musicology from Queens College (New York) and the University of Calfiornia, Berkeley, as well as studies at the Vienna Academy of Music.
Gross has a wide range of musical interests. While specializing in the traditional Austro-German and Central European repertoire, he is also an active interpreter of new music, as well as a fervent educator for new audiences. Gross has conducted at Los Angeles’ Monday Evening Concerts and the Minnesota Composers Forum in addition to conducting broadcast concerts of new American music from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. As Conductor of the Santa Monica Chamber Philharmonia he gave highly acclaimed performances of new American music in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. He has also personally commissioned and premiered new compositions with the Santa Monica Symphony, the Occidental-Caltech Symphony, and in local and foreign guest conducting appearances.
Gross also has an avid interest in working with developing players. He served as Music Director/Conductor of the Pasadena Young Musicians Orchestra from 1987 through 1991, and was the conductor of the Pasadena Summer Youth Chamber Orchestra for twenty years.