Director of Orchestras/Associate Professor
Blg 37 Rm #138
Northern Arizona University
A conductor of "tremendous depth and ability," Daniel Keith O'Bryant has led professional, college, and youth orchestras for nearly two decades. Equally comfortable in the genres of symphony, ballet, opera, and popular music, he is renowned for highly entertaining programs that inspire audiences of all types.
O’Bryant currently serves as the Director of Orchestras at Northern Arizona University, where he conducts the NAU Symphony, NAU Chamber, and NAU Opera Orchestras. Prior appointments include Music Director of the Heartland Symphony, Associate Conductor of the St. Cloud Symphony, Assistant Conductor of the Salt Lake Opera Company, Director of Orchestras at St. Cloud State University, Founding Director of the Utah County Chamber Players, and Founding Director of the St. Cloud State University Youth Orchestra.
O'Bryant completed doctoral studies in orchestral and opera conducting at Arizona State University, and was mentored by some of the field's leading experts, including Daniel Lewis, Gustav Meier, Neil Varon, David Effron, and Timothy Russell. He received additional training through the Aspen Music Festival's American Academy of Conductors program and workshops sponsored by the League of American Orchestras, the Conductors Guild, and the International Conductors Institute. Driven by a lifelong passion for education, O'Bryant recently launched an international conducting seminar at Northern Arizona University, where he taught alongside Neil Varon of the Eastman School and Henry Fogel, former President of the Chicago Symphony. His ideas on conducting are compiled in "A Philosophy of Communication for the Modern Orchestral Conductor," a treatise on the technique and psychology of leading ensembles.
As a guest conductor, O'Bryant has appeared with orchestras throughout the United States, including the University of Oregon Symphony, the University of Denver Symphony, the Arizona State University Lyric Opera Theatre, the Phoenix Youth Symphony, the Keweena Symphony, the Iowa State University Orchestra, and the Brigham Young University Philharmonic. He has worked with the Eastman School of Music Philharmonia, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Philharmonia, the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies, the Omaha Symphony, and the Bakersfield Symphony.
Dr. O’Bryant is also known as an accomplished string bassist. He was awarded a full fellowship to study bass at the Aspen Music Festival, and served as Principal Bass with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, under the direction of Daniel Barenboim. He performed with Music of the Baroque, Chicago's premierearly music ensemble, and was a regular member of the Elgin Symphony, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Ballet West Orchestra, the Salt Lake Opera Company, and the St. Cloud Symphony. He has soloed with orchestras in the United States and Europe, and was awarded first prize in numerous concerto competitions. He has collaborated in recordings and performances with such artists as Pierre Boulez, David Zinman, Daniel Barenboim, Augusta Read Thomas, and Lynn Harrell. He worked extensively as a studio musician for Hollywood films and television programs, and was professor of string bass at Utah Valley University and St. Cloud State University.
D.M.A. Orchestral and Opera Conducting, Arizona State University
M.M. Orchestral Conducting, Brigham Young University
B.M. String Bass Performance and Pedagogy, Brigham Young University