Alfred Savia has been Music Director of the Evansville Philharmonic since 1989. Under his leadership the Orchestra has expanded to include a comprehensive Youth Orchestra program, the incorporation of the Philharmonic Chorus, and the Eykamp String Quartet. He has initiated many new programs including Messiah and Nutcracker, Music Alive residencies, orchestra concerts in outlying communities, and fully staged opera presentations at Philharmonic concerts. The 2005 and 2011 collaborations for the opera Brundibar (performed extensively by children in the Terezin concentration camp during WW II) with CYPRESS garnered unparalleled local, regional and national attention through a featured story on CNN. His innovative programming skills and ability to connect with audiences have been documented in profiles in Musical America and Symphony Magazine. He was recipient of the 2004 Mayor’s Arts Award.
Savia was Associate Conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra from 1990-1996, and is a frequent guest conductor around the globe. His North American appearances include performances with the Saint Louis, Detroit, Phoenix, Savannah, Columbus, Memphis, Portland (Maine), Winston-Salem, Roanoke, San Antonio, Spokane and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Louisville Orchestra and Dayton, Rhode Island, Naples (FL), Lexington and Fresno Philharmonic Orchestras. Internationally, he has conducted the Korea Philharmonic Orchestra (KBS), State of Mexico (Toluca) Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina in Florence, Radio & Television Serbia (Belgrade) Symphony Orchestra, Denmark’s Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Ankara, Turkey, Osnabrück Symphony Orchestra in Germany, Symphony Orchestra of Xalapa, Mexico and the Orchestra Sinfonica della Provincia di Bari (Italy). He has conducted extensively in South America, appearing with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Chile in Santiago, the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional del Ecuador (Quito), and the Orquesta Filarmonica de Montevideo (Uruguay). Festival appearances have included Chicago’s Grant Park Symphony, Summer Music at Harkness Festival in New London, Connecticut, Lucius Woods Performing Arts Center in Wisconsin, the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival in Virginia, and The Professional Advantage opera program in the Marche region of Italy. He recorded Russell Peck’s The Thrill of the Orchestra with London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
A native of Livingston, New Jersey, Savia graduated from Butler University’s Jordan College of the Arts. He studied conducting with Franco Ferrara at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy, and privately with Sixten Ehrling and Otto Werner Mueller (Juilliard School). Conducting studies at the American Symphony Orchestra League’s Institute of Orchestral Studies and the Tanglewood Music Center led to his first professional appointment as Assistant Conductor of The Omaha Symphony. Subsequently, he served as Resident Conductor of the Florida Philharmonic and New Orleans Symphony Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Florida Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Orlando Opera. He played an integral role in the emergence of the Orlando Philharmonic, serving as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor from 1995 to 2000. He also conducted the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (New Orleans) in one of their first post-Katrina concerts in 2006, and returned there the following two seasons. In 2013 he conducted La Traviata at the “Il Giglio e’ Lirica” Festival on the island of Giglio in Tuscany as part of Italy’s celebration of the 200th anniversary Verdi’s birth. For the past two summers, he conducted the EPO’s ShrinersFest concerts, led two weeks of concerts with the Indianapolis Symphony at Symphony on the Prairie and in the Hilbert Circle Theatre, and, in 2015, returned for concerts at the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival.
Maestro Savia has collaborated with many of the world’s great artists including Joshua Bell, Andre Watts, Roberta Peters, Edgar Meyer, Garrick Ohlson, Frederica von Stade, Judy Collins and Doc Severinsen. In 2013 he was made a Sagamore of the Wabash.