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Comissiona, Sergiu

music orch director conductor

Comissiona, Sergiu, prominent Romanian-born American conductor; b. Bucharest, June 16, 1928. He studied conducting with Silvestri and Lindenberg, making his conducting debut at the age of 17 in Sibiu in a performance of Gounod’s Faust . He became a violinist in the Bucharest Radio Quartet (1946), and then in the Romanian State Ensemble (1947), where he was subsequently asst. conductor (1948–50) and music director (1950–55). From 1955 to 1959 he was principal conductor of the Romanian State Opera in Bucharest. Being Jewish, he was moved to emigrate to Israel, where he was music director of the Haifa Sym. Orch. (1960–66) and founder-director of the Ramat Gan Chamber Orch. (1960–67). In 1963 he appeared in North America as conductor of the Israel Chamber Orch., and, in 1965, as guest conductor of the Philadelphia Orch. He then was music director of the Gòteborg Sym. Orch. (1966–77), music adviser of the Northern Ireland Orch. in Belfast (1967–68), and music director of the Baltimore Sym. Orch. (1969–84). On July 4, 1976, he became a naturalized American citizen. He was music director of the Chautauqua (N.Y.) Festival Orch. (1976–80), music advisor of the Temple Univ. Festival in Ambler (1977–80), and music advisor of the American Sym. Orch. in N.Y. (1977–82). He seserved as artistic director (1980–83), music director-designate (1983–84), and music director (1984–88) of the Houston Sym. Orch. From 1982 he was chief conductor of the Radio Phil. Orch. in Hilversum. In 1987–88 he was also music director of the N.Y.C. Opera, and then was chief conductor of the Helsinki Phil, from 1990 to 1993. In 1990–91 he was music director designate, and from 1991 until 2000, music director of the Vancouver (B.C.) Sym. Orch. He subsequently served as its conductor emeritus.

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