Randall Craig Fleischer Bio

 Randall Craig Fleischer, Music Director

201404241986 With three Music Director positions, a demanding guest conducting schedule, numerous arrangements and commissions played regularly by major orchestras around the worl d, major awards and a career spanning four continents, Randall Craig Fleischer is making a substantial impact.

Mr. Fleischer has appeared as a guest conductor with many major orchestras in the United States and internationally including engagements with the Boston Pops, China Philharmonic Hong Kong Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Houston Symphony, Utah Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Fes tival Cesky Krumov (Czech Republic) and many others.

As Music Director/Conductor of three symphony orchestras, Youngstown Symphony, Hudson Valley Philharmonic and the Anchorage Symphony, Mr. Fleischer has led each orchestra through a dramatic period of artistic growth, demonstrating his abilities as a proven orchestra builder.

Active as a composer and arranger, Mr. Fleischer is a national leader in the area of symphonic rock and world music fusion. His works and arrangements have been played by the Boston Pops, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, China Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, National Symphony and many others. In 2006, he premiered his ground-breaking original composition, "Triumph" combining ceremonial Navajo songs and dances in a full orchestral work. The work also featured a solo Native Flute which was played by R. Carlos Nakai. "Triumph" was fully choreographed and the Navajo songs were brought to life through traditional dance by the internationally renowned Jones Benally Family. The audience responded in a resoundingly positive fashion, giving "Triumph" an extended standing ovation. Mr. Fleischer’s second Native American fusion work “ECHOES” premiered with the Anchorage Symphony in October, 2008, followed by a n East Coast premiere at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. His work “Symphony in Step” featuring Step Afrika premiered in November of 2011.

As a pioneer in these growing “fusion” genres, Fleischer has worked with artists such as John Densmore (The Doors), Natalie Merchant, Blondie, Ani DiFranco, John Cale (Velvet Underground) Garth Hudson (The Band), Kenny Rogers, Chris Baron (Sp
in Doctors) and Native American artists R. Carlos Nakai, The Benaly Family, Step Afrika, Time for Three and others. A fervent advocate of new music, Mr. Fleischer has commissioned and conducted many world premieres and many works by living composers.

A passionate educator, Fleischer has co-authored several instructional pieces for children in collaboration with his wife, comedian Heidi Joyce, which were premiered by the National Symphony Orchestra, including three rap pieces for orchestra. Currently their children’s programs, “Cool Concerts for Kids” have been performed with great success with symphony orchestras around the country. In J
anuary of 1991, Ms. Joyce and Mr. Fleischer co-authored and premiered “Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Spiritual Journey” with the NSO, a piece for narrator and orchestra which explores the history of the civil rights movement with excerpts of Dr. King’s speeches, narrated by Dr. King’s daughter, Yolanda King. This piece was broadcast on PBS in February of 1995.

Mr. Fleischer first came to international attention when, while serving his first of five years as Assistant, then Associate conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra when he conducted Dvorak’s Cello Concerto with Mstislav Rostropovich as soloist during the NSO’s 1990 tour of Japan and the U.S.S.R. This was the first time Rostropovich had played the cello in Russia since his forced exile in 1972. Mr. Fleischer was featured in the internationally broadcast PBS documentary “Soldier of Music” which documented Rostropovich’s return to the Soviet
Union and was also featured on the “60 Minutes” segment on this event. “Soldier of Music” was later released on the Sony Video label.

In December of 1992 Fleischer conducted an ensemble of over 70 cellos, including YoYo Ma, and a 190 voice chorus in the Kennedy Center Awards tribute to Rostropovich, televised nationally on CBS with then President and Mrs. Bush presiding. In 1993, Mr. Fleischer conducted a private concert for Pope John-Paul at the Vatican. The Pontiff awarded Mr. Fleischer a medal for his achievements in music.

In 1995 Mr. Fleischer made his debut with New York City Opera conducting “The Magic Flute.” The New York Times critic Kenneth Furie wrote, “But he (Fleischer) is the rare Mozart conductor who understands that the composer has already done
the hard work, so that the conductor‘s most important task is to allow the phrases to find their natural shape and breathe.” Mr. Fleischer’s operatic repertoire includes productions of “La Boheme”, “Turandot”, “Tosca”, “Madama Butterfly”, “Don Giovanni”, “La Traviata” and others. Joseph McClellan of the Washington Post wrote, “…there was often a chamber music quality - a sense of subtly nuanced dialogue - in the interactions between solo singers and the orchestra, expertly conducted by Randall Craig Fleischer.”

Mr. Fleischer studied with Leonard Bernstein as a conducting fellow at Tanglewood in 1989 and currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife Heidi and daughter Michaela.

<April 2019>


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The Anchorage Symphony Orchestra is funded, in part, by the Atwood Foundation, Richard L and Diane M Block Foundation , Municipality of Anchorage, Anchorage Assembly, Alaska State Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts and through the generosity of many individuals and corporate community leaders.
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