Founding Music Director of the Memphis Repertory Orchestra, William R. Langley, began his career as an orchestral conductor at age sixteen. In 2009 he founded the Wolf River Chamber Orchestra and in 2011 the MRO. Currently the MRO is the Orchestra in Residence at the Buckman Performing Arts Center where he has given over forty- five performances in the Memphis area. Langley also serves as conductor of the Blueshift Ensemble and frequent guest conductor with All of the Above Ensemble, contemporary ensembles dedicated to programming and promoting new and existing chamber works while incorporating multi-genre collaborations.
An avid performer, the young Maestro has guest conducted the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Youth Symphony Orchestra, CCM Philharmonia, Starling Chamber Orchestra, CCM Concert Orchestra, and All of the Above ensemble. In 2017 he made his opera debut with the CCM Opera Theatre where he conducted a performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide as a part of their "Bernstein at a 100" centennial celebration, performed and recorded (Blaze Records) in New York with All of the Above Ensemble, worked on Canadian-American Pop Star Rufus Wainwright's second opera, Hadrian, with the Cincinnati Opera, launched the MRO’s inaugural Choral and Orchestral festival at Lindenwood! The 2018-2019 season included his Carnegie Hall conducting debut (October) as well as appearances with the Blueshift Ensemble at the Continuum Festival, Starling Chamber Orchestra, and the CCM Philharmonia.
Next season (2019-2020) Langley will serve as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s conducting fellow, return to guest conduct All of the Above ensemble, Blueshift Ensemble, Starling Chamber Orchestra, the CCM Philharmonia, two more premieres with the company, Tobias Picker’s Awakenings and William Menefield’s Fierce. He will join the music staff at Cincinnati Opera in the summer of 2020 to serve as their assistant conductor while also making his CSO debut on June 14, 2020 in Washington Park.
Langley holds a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) in Cincinnati where he studied under the tutelage of Maestro Mark Gibson. He was recently selected by members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the American Austrian Foundation to be awarded one of two esteemed Ansbacher Fellowships for Young Conductors with the opportunity to study in Austria at the 2019 Salzburger Festspiele.
Langley, who “conducts with considerable theatricality, elicited a dramatic performance from the orchestra.” (Jon Sparks/Commercial Appeal), was the subject of a featured article entitled “Young Conductor Realizing Dreams” in the Commercial Appeal as well as the Memphis Flyer’s cover story “20 < 30” as one of “20 young Memphians shaping the city’s future”.
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