Douglas Anderson, conductor

A conductor equally adept with theatrical, vocal, and instrumental music, Douglas K. Anderson has since his debut conducted a great variety of ensembles and over 75 premieres, including the first electronic music opera and the first concerto for steel drum and orchestra. His most recent achievement was conducting a wonderfully moving performance of Mozart’s Requiem in d minor with a volunteer chorus and orchestra of over 100 performers at the 911 Memorial on the Summer Solstice (June 21) as part of the Make Music New York festival.

His repertoire includes standard operas, symphonic and choral music, as well as a wide range of unusual works from all eras. His operatic repertoire alone consists of over 100 complete operas conducted in over 400 performances. His musicianship and talent as a conductor has been recognized by performers, composers, audiences, and critics alike; rave reviews (in national as well as local publications) regularly contain phrases such as “excellently conducted”, “musically polished”, and “eloquent”. He is in regular demand as a guest conductor, and is currently the conductor of the Downtown Symphony, the Director of The Putnam Chorale, and conductor of the American Chamber Opera Company.

In 1984 he founded the American Chamber Opera Company, a professional company that performs new and old chamber operas in English. Under his musical and administrative direction, the ACOC grew into an internationally recognized performing ensemble and has received local, national, and international critical acclaim for its work in presenting opera as theater–innovative productions that feature talented singers who are also exceptional actors. To date the ACOC has presented 65 productions, including 26 premieres. The company has been featured on local, national, and international radio, including National Public Radio, the Pacifica network, and Voice of America.  More detail can be found at

With the Downtown Symphony, Douglas Anderson conducts 4 to 5 concerts a season, including two orchestral concerts, an annual Messiah Singalong (since 1988), a children’s concert, and an annual opera in concert on the terrace(since 1992). In 1991 he received a citation from New York City Mayor David Dinkins for “making live symphonic music available to new audiences,” and the orchestra’s 25th annual Messiah Singalong in 2012 led Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer to proclaim December 16, 2012 “Downtown Symphony Orchestra Appreciation Day”

Dr. Anderson began his tenure with The Putnam Chorale in Dec., 2001, conducting 4-10 performances each year, including annual Pops concerts, Messiah Singalongs, and Summer Sings. Putnam County premieres have included Vaughan Williams’ Hodie, Verdi’s Stabat Mater, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and the group regularly performs major works such as Haydn’s Creation, Bach’s B minor Mass, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with a superb professional orchestra. Community events have included seasonal observances, building dedications, and the Rolling Requiem.

He has served on the faculties of Columbia University, (where he conducted a variety of ensembles), Hofstra University, Baruch College/CUNY (where he conducted the faculty chamber orchestra), Vassar College, and Bloomfield College. He has taught theory, composition, jazz, electronic music, woodwinds, strings, piano, music history, musical theater and solfeggio. He is internationally known and continually in demand as a clinician/adjudicator and for master classes. He is currently on the faculty of the Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY, where he is a Professor of Music and was for 14 years Chairman of the Music and Art Department.

Dr. Anderson is often interviewed for local and national newspapers and magazines, and is a frequent guest on radio and television. His opinions on opera and contemporary music, as well as his own compositions, have been broadcast locally, nationally and internationally

His conducting teachers have included Neemi Järvi, Carl Bamberger, Richard Lert, Max Rudolf and Howard Shanet.