Susan Davenny Wyner, Guest Conductor, has had a remarkable music career. Trained initially as a violinist and violist, Ms. Wyner went on to an international career as a soprano soloist—performing with the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the New York, Los Angeles and Israel Philharmonics and others. Her eloquent voice and musicianship led to frequent engagements with such conductors as Leonard Bertstein, Sir Colin Davis, Erich Leinsdorf, André Previn, Lorin Maazel, Seiji Ozawa, Robert Shaw and Michael Tilson Thomas.
Soon, she also went on to receive national acclaim for her conducting. The Library of Congress featured her in its 2003 “Women Who Dare” Engagement Calendar, and the MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour and WGBH Television have presented special documentary features on her life and work.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer hailed her as a “galvanizing presence” on the podium and went on to state that “Wyner … defines those attributes reserved for the finest conductors. She has a firm vision of how a score should sound, an instinctive feel for texture and phrasing, and the ability to communicate ideas with almost laser-beam exactness to colleagues.” The New York Times praised her “richly textured and emotionally compelling” performances, and The Boston Globe stated: “Wyner conducts with lucidly passionate specificity; she is musically and emotionally fearless.” Four times, The Globe selected her conducted performances of concerts and opera as the “Best Musical Events of the Year” in Boston.
From 1999 to 2005, Ms. Davenny Wyner served as the Music Director and Conductor of The New England String Ensemble, a professional string orchestra that she brought to national prominence. Under her direction, the orchestra received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Koussevitsky Foundation of the Library of Congress, and the Copland Foundation. The New England String Ensemble was presented by the Bank of Boston Celebrity Series, was regularly broadcast and recorded by WGBH, and was lauded for its gripping and innovative performances of repertoire spanning the music from the 1600’s to the present—including over twenty-five world and New England premieres. Ms. Davenny Wyner graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University with degrees in both comparative literature and music. She continued her studies at Yale and Columbia Universities and received conducting fellowships to study at Tanglewood, Aspen Music Festival, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute.