Artistic Director, Dr. Brian Dowdy

Artistic Director, Dr. Brian Dowdy

Dr. Brian Edward Dowdy is Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra and the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to symphonic performances, Dowdy has recently conducted productions of Don GiovanniHänsel und GretelSusannahLe tragédie de Carmen and The Rape of Lucretia, and he has led performances with the University of Minnesota Campus Singers, Chorus Polaris and the Sanctuary choir of Richmond, VA.

In 2012 he joined Sanctuary in recording Music for Compline, an album of plainchant and renaissance motets, and in 2014 he directed and sang in Pesher Compline at the Walker Art Center with members of Cantus. As an advocate for new music, Dowdy has led premier performances for the Switchboard and Hot Air Music Festivals in San Francisco, and in 2013 he conducted the Atlantic Chamber Ensemble in “Project Beck,” a night of 20 premiers inspired by Beck Hansen’s Song Reader.  Dowdystudied at Oberlin College, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the University of Minnesota. He holds degrees in conducting, classical guitar performance, English literature and East Asian Studies.


a message from Maestro Dowdy . . .


Dear St. Cloud Symphony Patrons,

Welcome to the 2018-19 season – “Heroes and Homelands.”

History is more than recorded fact – it is a living, evolving story of individuals, families, communities, and nations. How we remember and engage with moments in our shared history shapes the relationships we build and the choices we make today. This year the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra explores the living histories of our community and nation. We honor heroes and visionaries of centuries past, and we continue to invest in the stories of today and tomorrow.

Two anniversaries frame our journey – the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending World War I and the 150th anniversary of St. Cloud State University. November’s “Coming Home” program honors our veterans and service members with music by Gould, Barber, Ravel, and Copland. These are compositions about the search for peace, about those lost to war and those whose return we await, and about the life we build together on the home front. In celebration of the SCSU sesquicentennial, February’s “Generations” program features composers and compositions that have unleashed creativity to make a lasting impact on our world. That February evening, Ritcsche stage will be filled with students, teachers, staff, and community musicians alike, as SCSU choirs join the Great River Chorale and the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra for Beethoven’s epic Symphony No. 9.

Surrounding these anniversary concerts, we also celebrate the rich and growing artistic history of Central Minnesota today. We rocked out with The Killer Vees in September, we join forces with the St. John’s Boys Choir for December’s “St. Cloud Holiday Fantasy,” and we’ll once again welcome a community guest conductor for our performance of Sleigh Ride. In April we continue to support emerging artists through our Young Performers Competition, we’ll connect with some 1,500 4th graders through classroom visits and two “Copland for Kids” concerts, and we hope to make you feel like kid again as we perform music by Copland and Sibelius in the season closer – “Sound of Nations.”

Thank you for playing your part – for supporting the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra as we lift up the heroes and histories of this community, inspire young musicians, and seek to bring musical enrichment to all. See you after the concert.

Musically yours,
Brian Edward Dowdy