Conductor and Music Director of the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra
Stephen Gunzenhauser has been Conductor and Music Director of the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra in Lancaster, PA since 1979. He completed 23 years as the Music Director of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra in Wilmington, DE before concentrating on the Lancaster Symphony.
Dr. Gunzenhauser enjoys conducting in foreign venues. He has conducted in Europe and the British Isles, South America, Canada, Korea, Hong Kong, and Israel. Personal favorites have included the National Orchestra of Argentina and the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, where he conducted the Mayor’s concert on the day after Christmas for five years.
The Maestro is the fifth most recorded American conductor. His recordings have sold over two million copies; his compact disc of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons has sold more than 800,000 copies. He has recorded 72 compact discs for Naxos, HNH International Music Company, Angel, Pro Arte Records, Elan, West Branch and Albany Records. He has recorded works by Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Bruch, Orff, Borodin, Dvořák, Rachmaninov, Schumann, Copland, Mozart, Vivaldi, Glière, and Lachner. In August, 2001 Gunzenhauser completed a recording of Benjamin Lees’ Symphonies Nos. 2, 3, and 5 with the State Philharmonic of Rheinland-Pfalz. That recording was nominated for a Grammy in 2003.
In 2008, he was conductor of a new virtuoso chamber orchestra called Pro Musicis. They recorded The Seasons of Antonio Vivaldi with Harrisburg Symphony Concertmaster Odin Rathnam, for West Branch Records. In September, 2001 the Maestro was selected as the American Judge at an International Conducting Competition in Lisbon, Portugal. Also selected were judges from Russia and other parts of Asia and Europe. Dr. Gunzenhauser was an international judge and conductor at competitions in Sicily and Kazakhstan. Maestro Gunzenhauser has conducted the Belgrade Philharmonic in Serbia and last season he appeared with the Arpeggione Chamber Orchestra of Austria.
In past seasons, the Maestro conducted at the Teatro Colón (one of the five most beautiful concert halls in the world) with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra, and with the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra of Colombia, South America. Other activities included a full-scale production of Puccini’s Tosca at the Wittgenstein Theater near Dresden, Germany. In August, 2005 he performed at a Hungarian Music Festival sponsored by the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra as well as with the Danubius Orchestra at the Franz Liszt Academy of Budapest in the première of the Mazetti completion of Mahler’s Tenth Symphony.
In August, 2006 Maestro Gunzenhauser presented the inaugural season of the first International Music Festival in Pennsylvania, the Endless Mountain Music Festival, which presented seven concerts in eight days. In 2007, the Festival expanded to give 15 concerts in 17 days.The festival continues to expand and grow in significance as the only international bi-State (Pennsylvania and New York) music festival. In addition the Endless Mountain Music Festival appears in Corning New York and Elmira New York. The orchestra’s concertmaster is Charles Rex of the New York Philharmonic. This past season more than 3,000 people attended the Festival concerts.
Born in New York City and a graduate of the High School of Music and Art in New York City, Dr. Gunzenhauser received a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College and a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate degree from Widener University. He has been awarded three Fulbright grants and has an Artist’s Diploma from the Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria. He was awarded Delaware’s First Cultural Ambassador designation in 1990 and is the recipient of the University of Delaware’s Medal of Distinction. He was also awarded the Order of the First State – the highest acknowledgement that a civilian may receive from the State of Delaware.
Dr. Gunzenhauser enjoys competitive tennis, golf and gourmet cooking. He resides in Lancaster, PA with his wife Shelly. Both of their daughters are grown and live in Los Angeles, CA.