Feb. 14 - Stephen Tucker
For the past 17 years, Stephen Tucker has been the conductor of the University of California, Irvine’s Symphony Orchestra. He is also an Associate Professor in music in the music department of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, where he teaches conducting, orchestration, and analysis. At UCI Tucker’s performances include symphonic concerts, opera presentations, and performances with the dance department.
In 2014, Dr. Tucker was named Music Director of the thirteen-year-old Riverside Lyric Opera Company, in California, later (2015) becoming the company’s Artistic Director/Music Director. Tucker’s opera appearances have also been augmented by his frequent appearances with the El Dorado Opera Company, in Santa Clarita, California.
Before joining the faculty at UCI, Tucker was a doctoral student at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where he was conductor of musical theater and assistant conductor of Opera UCLA, under the music directorship of maestro William Vendice, head of the music staff at LA Opera. Previous to his time at UCLA, Tucker held positions as music director of the Neumark Ensemble, a Southern California chamber orchestra and chorale, and the Southern California Young Artists’ Symphony.
Like his identical twin, Dr. Paul Tucker, an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Kansas, serving as the Director of Choral Activities, Stephen attended the Jamaica School of Music, studying Piano and Conducting with Dr. Kaestner Robertson. While in Jamaica, both brothers were engaged in a wide variety of music-making ventures, before relocating to the United States.
In 2005, Tucker made his Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center debut, conducting Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand. As Cover Conductor for Maestro Andrew Litton, guest conductor at the Pacific Symphony, Tucker was charged with conducting the orchestra’s first rehearsal of Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2. His further guest conducting appearances have been with such orchestras as the Slovak Radio Symphony and the Hungarian National Philharmonic. Recently, also, he has made guest conducting appearances with the National Chamber Orchestra of Jamaica. In North America, he has been engaged as either guest conductor or cover conductor for the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and the Long Beach Symphony, and several orchestras in the US and Canada. From 2003 to 2004, he also held the position of principal guest conductor of the Symphony Orchestra at Atlantic Union College, Massachusetts.
With a varied musical background, and a correspondingly diverse repertoire, Tucker has conducted recordings for many commercial recording projects, including movie and game scores. Presently, he is completing a recording of an opera, “The Mask in the Mirror,” by composer Richard Thompson. His continued dedication to education has made him a constant visitor to area schools in Southern California and a frequent guest conductor and clinician for honor orchestras.
Tucker holds a Bachelor’s of Music (BM) from Thayer Conservatory, at Atlantic Union College; a Master’s of Music (MM), and a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) from UCLA, along with diplomas from the Vienna Conservatory of Music, the Conductors’ Institute at Hartt School, and the International Conductors’ Institute under Herbert Blomstedt.