Music Director & Conductor
Yaacov Bergman has received consistent rave notices for his interpretations of a highly varied repertoire, and has been acclaimed world-wide as an intensely communicative musician.
Maestro Bergman is currently Music Director/Conductor of the Portland Chamber Orchestra, the Walla Walla Symphony, and the Siletz Bay Music Festival in Lincoln City, OR. He is the former Music Director of the Colorado Springs Symphony, The New York Heritage Symphony, the 92nd St. Y Orchestra in New York City, and the McCall SummerFest, in McCall, ID. His versatility has led to frequent guest appearances across the globe conducting the symphonic, operatic, oratorio, balletic and pops repertoires.
Maestro Bergman’s interest in new music and multi-arts concepts is reflected in his programming of many new works. Under his leadership, the Portland Chamber Orchestra developed its distinctive timbre and a new focus on a fusion of art forms, while bringing to audiences World, American and Northwest Premieres. Willamette Week's annual Finder edition called the PCO "The Most Ambitious Arts Organization in Portland” and, "Punching way above its weight, under Music Director Yaacov Bergman, PCO has lately been the city's most innovative orchestra, combining music with visual arts, poetry, theater, even science and sex."
Maestro Bergman recently guest conducted the Denver Symphony in a collaborative production with Colorado Central Opera and Ballet, a tour with Israel’s Natanya-Kibbutz Orchestra, the New Russia State Philharmonic at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall and the Belarusian State Chamber Orchestra in Minsk. Other collaborative ventures include annual productions with Oregon's Eugene Ballet Company and the Walla Walla Symphony, and the Portland Festival Ballet Company and the PCO.
Past guest conducting includes the Buffalo Philharmonic, the San Diego Symphony, the Philippine Philharmonic, and the Vancouver, Edmonton and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphonies in Canada. He has also appeared with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic and Manhattan Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, the West Virginia Symphony, the Osaka Symphonica and has had repeat appearances with the Lodz Philharmonic and Opera Company and Bydgoszcz Philharmonic in Poland. Maestro Bergman conducted a series of successful symphonic concerts in Cairo, Egypt as the first American/Israeli conductor to appear in an Arab republic.
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.