Walla Walla Symphony

Music Director & Conductor

Music Director-Yaacov Bergman

Yaacov Bergman, Conductor and Music Director, has received consistent rave notices and standing ovations for his interpretations of a highly varied repertoire, and has been acclaimed worldwide as an intensely communicative musician. Maestro Bergman is Music Director of the Walla Walla Symphony, Music Director of the Portland Chamber Orchestra, and former Music Director of the Colorado Springs Symphony, the New York Heritage Chamber Orchestra, and the 92nd St. Y Symphonic Workshop Orchestra in New York City. His versatility has led to frequent guest appearances across the globe conducting the symphonic, operatic, oratorio and pops repertoires.

Maestro Bergman's interest in new music and multi-media concepts is reflected in his programming of many new works. He has presented premieres of pieces by noted American composers Robert Starer, William Bolcom, John Verral, Gwyneth Walker, John David Earnest, Tania Cronin, David Glenn, and Tom Simon and composers from around the world including Arvo Part, Gorecki, Kancheli, Tzur, Avni, Shariff and Ben-Amotz.

His success in July of 1996 in Japan as conductor of the Osaka Opera Company's premiere performance of Verdi's opera Macbeth led to subsequent engagements which included La Traviata in Osaka and Kobe. Maestro Bergman guest conducted with the Osaka Symphonica, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the San Diego Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony in Canada, the West Virginia Symphony, the Redlands (CA) Symphony, a debut performance with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, a third appearance with the Brooklyn Philharmonic in New York and a concert tour with the Israel Chamber Orchestra. He recently served as principal guest conductor of the "North Atlantic Music Festival" in Denmark.

Maestro Bergman conducted a series of successful symphonic concerts in Cairo, Egypt in 1995 and 1996 as the first Israeli conductor to appear in an Arab republic.

Past engagements also include a series of concerts with the Mostly Mozart Festival in the Philippines, for which he served as Music Director, a North American Tour with the Artur Rubinstein Philharmonic of Lodz, Poland, where he was Principal Guest Conductor, performances of Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Turandot, Carmen and L'Elisir d'Amore in New York City, a pops concert in Seattle, guest conducting appearances with the Manhattan Philharmonic in Carnegie Hall, engagements leading the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra, a series of performances of La Boheme in the Philippines, and performances of Don Giovanni, Carmen, Tosca, and La Traviata for the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, where he has also conducted numerous symphonic concerts as principal guest conductor of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra.

Born in Israel, Yaacov Bergman's early musical training began with violin and vocal studies, but he soon expressed an avid interest in composing and conducting. After graduation from the Rubin Academy of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, with majors in conducting and composition, he completed post-graduate studies at the Mannes College of Music in New York as a student of Richard Westenburg. He pursued further conducting studies under the guidance of Charles Bruck, a disciple of Pierre Monteux, as well as private study under Leonard Bernstein. In 1998 he was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Colorado Technical University.

Maestro Bergman is married to pianist and pedagogue Joan Behrens-Bergman.