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David Itkin

Director of Orchestral Studies

Professor of Music


Conducting and Ensembles, Orchestral Studies

Contact Information

Murchison Performing Arts Ctr 137

The 2015-2016 season marks Maestro David Itkin’s 8th year serving as Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of North Texas College of Music, his 11th season as Music Director and Conductor of the Abilene Philharmonic, and his and his 2nd season as Artistic Director and Conductor of the McCall Summerfest in McCall, Idaho.  Following a distinguished 17-year tenure, Maestro Itkin was named Conductor Laureate of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in July 2010, and he served as Music Director and Conductor of the Las Vegas Philharmonic from 2007 to 2012.

During past seasons Maestro Itkin’s career has taken him to 45 U.S. states and 15 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, including concerts and recordings with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Slovenska Filhamonija, the San Diego Symphony, and the Seoul Philharmonic.  Other guest conducting appearances include concerts with the Colorado Philharmonic, the Annapolis Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony, the Illinois Symphony, the Delaware Symphony, the New Hampshire Symphony, the Cheyenne Symphony, and the Indianapolis, Baltimore, and Reno Chamber Orchestras.  During the Summer of 2006 Maestro Itkin appeared once again with the Slovenska Filharmonija in Ljubljana, Slovenia, conducting the opening concert of the 14th World Saxophone Congress. 

His book, Conducting Concerti, was released in August 2014 to considerable critical acclaim.  Leonard Slatkin called Conducting Concerti “a valuable textbook for the aspiring Maestro” and “highly recommended”, and Samuel Adler wrote that it is “an invaluable addition to the world of conducting textbooks.”  Mr. Itkin is now the principal faculty member for the Conductors Guild/UNT International Conducting Workshop, and serves on the national board of directors of the Conductors Guild.

Mr. Itkin’s first film score (“Sugar Creek”) was recorded in 2006 by the Arkansas Symphony for the film’s 2007 release.  His most recent major work, “Exodus”, an oratorio, was premiered in April 2005 in Little Rock, with William Shatner narrating.   “Exodus” was released worldwide on CD in 2007.

In May 2009 Maestro Itkin was awarded both an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Lyon College and the Above the Barre award by Ballet Arkansas.

In addition to his professional schedule, Maestro Itkin regularly serves as a guest conductor/clinician, including concerts with the Arkansas All-State Orchestra, the Southern California High School Honors Orchestra, the Maine All-State Orchestra, the Las Vegas Senior Honors Orchestra, and several Texas all-region Honors Orchestras.

Also in demand as a speaker and lecturer, Mr. Itkin has been asked to lecture for a wide variety of organizations, including SilverSea cruise lines, two consecutive years as a featured lecturer for the Arkansas Governor’s School, the Texas Association of Symphony Orchestras, and a keynote address at the National Federation of Music Clubs national conference.

Maestro Itkin’s previous positions include serving as Music Director and Conductor of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra for 17 seasons (1993-2010), Music Director/Conductor of the Las Vegas Philharmonic (2007-2012), Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra in Chicago (1997-2000), Music Director/Conductor of the Kingsport Symphony (Tenn.) (1992-1995), Music Director of the Birmingham Opera Theatre (1992-1995), and Music Director for the Lucius Woods Festival Concerts in Solon Springs, Wisconsin (1993-2000).  From 1988 to 1993 he served as Associate Conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, during which time he was made Honorary Lt. Governor of the State of Alabama for outstanding service to the Arts.