Barbara Yahr — Music Director
Now in her sixteenth season with the GVO, Music Director Barbara Yahr continues to lead the orchestra to new levels of distinction. With blockbuster programming and internationally renowned guest artists, the GVO under Barbara’s baton has grown into an innovative, collaborative institution offering a full season of classical music to our local community.
A native of New York, Ms.Yahr’s career has spanned from the United States to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Her previous posts include Principal Guest Conductor of the Munich Radio Orchestra, Resident Staff Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony under Maestro Lorin Maazel and conductor of the Pittsburgh Youth Orchestra. She has appeared as a guest conductor with such orchestras as the Bayerische Rundfunk, Dusseldorf Symphoniker, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Frankfurt Radio, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Janacek Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, and the National Symphony in Washington D.C. She has also conducted orchestras in Anchorage, Calgary, Chattanooga, Columbus, Detroit, Flint, Louisiana, New Mexico, Lubbock, and Richmond, as well as the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber, Rochester Philharmonic, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, New World Symphony, and the Chautauqua Festival Symphony Orchestra. She has also appeared in Israel conducting in both Jerusalem and Elat. As an opera conductor, she has led new productions in Frankfurt, Giessen, Tulsa, Cincinnati, Minnesota and at The Mannes School of Music in NYC. She has coached the actors on the set of the Amazon Series, Mozart in the Jungle, and last season conducted the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra and musicians from the Pittsburgh Symphony.
Ms. Yahr is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Middlebury College where she studied piano and philosophy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Conducting from the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Max Rudolf and an MM in Music Theory from the Manhattan School of Music. She was a student of Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux School in Hancock, Maine.
Ms. Yahr’s commitment to finding new ways to reach a broader population with music ultimately led her into the field of music therapy. She is a Board Certified Music Therapist, with an MA in Music Therapy from NYU and post-graduate certification from the world-renowned Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy in New York City. Her pioneering, community music therapy project, Together in Music, brings orchestral music to the special needs community with uniquely interactive programs.