Scott Speck

With performances in London, Paris, Moscow, Beijing, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, Scott Speck has inspired international acclaim as a conductor of passion, intelligence and winning personality.

Speck was named artistic director of the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra in June 2013, and has been music director of the Joffrey Ballet since 2010. His concerts with the Moscow RTV Symphony Orchestra in Tchaikovsky Hall garnered unanimous praise. His gala performances with Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, Midori, Evelyn Glennie and Olga Kern have highlighted his recent and current seasons as music director of the Mobile (Ala.) Symphony. He was invited to the White House as former music director of the Washington Ballet.

In past seasons, Speck has conducted at London’s Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, the Paris Opera, New York’s Lincoln Center, Chicago’s Symphony Center, Washington’s Kennedy Center, San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House and the Los Angeles Music Center. He has led numerous performances with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Houston, Baltimore, Paris, Moscow, Shanghai, Beijing, Vancouver, Romania, Slovakia, Buffalo, Columbus, Honolulu, Louisville, New Orleans, Oregon and Rochester, N.Y., among many others.

Previously he held positions as conductor of the San Francisco Ballet; music adviser and conductor of the Honolulu Symphony, and associate conductor of the Los Angeles Opera. During a tour of Asia, he was named principal guest conductor of the China Film Philharmonic in Beijing.

In addition, Speck is the co-author of two of the world’s best-selling books on classical music for a popular audience, Classical Music for Dummies and Opera for Dummies. These books have received stellar reviews in the national and international press and have garnered enthusiastic endorsements from major American orchestras. They have been translated into 20 languages and are available worldwide. His third book in the series, Ballet for Dummies, was released to great acclaim as well.

Speck has been a regular commentator on National Public Radio, the BBC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Voice of Russia. He has been featured in TED talks and at the Aspen Ideas Festival. His writing has been featured in numerous magazines and journals.

Born in Boston, Speck graduated summa cum laude from Yale University. There he founded and directed the Berkeley Chamber Orchestra, which continues to perform to this day. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Berlin, where he founded Concerto Grosso Berlin, an orchestra dedicated to the performances of Baroque and Classical music in a historically informed style. He received his master’s degree with highest honors from the University of Southern California, served as a conducting fellow at the Aspen School of Music and studied at the Tanglewood Music Center.