The 2020-2021 season marks David Itkin’s 13th year serving as professor of music. His recent performances include Mahler Symphony No. 4, Verdi's Requiem, Beethoven Symphony No. 9, Puccini’s Turandot with the UNT Grand Chorus, and Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen with UNT Opera. This is also his 16th season as music director and conductor of the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra. During the 2018-2019 season he joined the Abilene Opera Company for Handel’s Messiah and a fully staged production of West Side Story. During the 2019-2020 season he lead the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra in February and will return to the Abilene Opera Society for Messiah.
Following a distinguished 17-year tenure, Itkin was named conductor laureate of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in July 2010. Previously he served as music director and conductor of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, artistic director and conductor of the McCall Summerfest in McCall, Idaho, and as music director & conductor of the Lake Forest Symphony (Chicago), Kingsport Symphony, Birmingham Opera Theatre, and Lucius Woods Music Festival (Wisconsin).
During past seasons 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, Slovenska Filharmonija, San Diego Symphony, and Seoul Philharmonic. Other guest conducting appearances include concerts with the Colorado Philharmonic, Annapolis Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Symphony, Delaware Symphony, New Hampshire Symphony, Cheyenne Symphony, and Indianapolis, Baltimore, and Reno chamber orchestras. During the Summer of 2006 he 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’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 he 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, Itkin regularly serves as a guest conductor/clinician, including concerts with the Arkansas All-State Orchestra, Southern California High School Honors Orchestra, Maine All-State Orchestra, 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.