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In the 2014-15 season, Yaniv Segal began his tenure as assistant conductor to Andrey Boreyko and the Naples Philharmonic, and music director of the Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. He was profiled by Esquire Magazine as a rising star that is "redefining classical music," and is active as conductor and composer. Equally comfortable conducting a performance of Brahms Fourth Symphony, leading an opera company in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, or playing violin in Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, Yaniv brings a wide breadth of experience and accomplishment to a performance.
In November of 2013, as part of the Krzysztof Penderecki Festival in Warsaw, Yaniv prepared programs for and assisted conductors Valery Gergiev, Charles Dutoit, Maximiano Valdes, and Rafael Payare. In March, Yaniv debuted with the Krakow Philharmonic in Dvorak's Stabat Mater - which resulted in an immediate re-invitation - and at the Krakow Opera in September with the well-received Polish premiere of David Chesky's The Mice War. In October, the Chelsea Symphony under Yaniv's baton premiered his new Rite of Spring (Redux), an arrangement of the Rite of Spring for modern orchestra including electric guitar, bass guitar, and saxophone, as well as greatly reduced forces overall. Yaniv returned to Macon, Georgia in 2014, after his debut with the orchestra in 2012 prompted the Telegraph to report that he is "more progressive than many" and that "Segal left us wishing the concert could have gone longer." His successful debut with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra led the Pantagraph to call him a "talented director," while the Giornale di Sicilia called him "enthusiastic, lively, and incisive" when describing his Italian debut with the Sinfonica Siciliana di Palermo in the fall of 2011.
In the spotlight from a young age, Yaniv's first public performance was as an eight year old violinist. He later played two concertos with the Yonkers Philharmonic, and played chamber music with members of the New York Philharmonic on both violin and viola. As a boy soprano, Yaniv joined the Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus in 1989 and sang both in the choir and as a soloist with great conductors such as James Levine, Valery Gergiev and Georg Solti, sharing the stage with leading singers Samuel Ramey, Luciano Pavarotti, and Dawn Upshaw, among others. Yaniv continued to perform as a singer and actor when he toured the USA and Japan as Colin in The Secret Garden, which he performed alongside Tony award winner Audra McDonald. His stage acting career culminated in a role in Tom Stoppard's Hapgood, which he performed at Lincoln Center alongside celebrated actors Stockard Channing, David Straithairn and Josef Sommers. In the early 90s, you could hear Yaniv sing on TV commercials for Pepsi as well as on compact discs ranging from classical opera to rock and folk music.
A strong believer and advocate of music that is relevant to modern culture, Yaniv used his professional knowledge and experience to found three music organizations. He first cofounded and music directed the Mahagonny Ensemble at Vassar College - a chamber orchestra devoted to music of the past 100 years. While a freelancer in NYC, he was a founding board member and violinist with the the Pamplemousse Ensemble - a contemporary ensemble dedicated to cutting edge new music and multi-disciplinary performances. In 2005, he founded and music directed the Chelsea Symphony - an orchestra that provides unique performance opportunities for both rising and established instrumentalists, composers and conductors. The Chelsea Symphony has performed dozens of world premieres, and presents programs of under-programmed works alongside standard repertoire. Under Yaniv's baton, the orchestra garnered critical attention when the New York Times praised a performance of Mahler's Fourth Symphony as an "earnest, vibrant account."
Yaniv is dedicated to bringing classical music of all types to a broader, more mainstream audience. As a music director of the Michigan Pops Orchestra for two years, he programmed exciting concerts and blurred the distinction between genres, often juxtaposing works by classical composers such as Wagner and Mahler against more familiar music from films such as Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings, and by rock groups such as the Beatles or R.E.M. He also presented several world premieres including a special US premiere of Australian composer Matthew Hindson's "Litespeed," spearheaded a concerto competition for local high school music students, and expanded the size of the orchestra to over 100 musicians.
Despite his young age, Yaniv is already in demand as a guest conductor. In the spring of 2011, as part of the Ludwig Van Beethoven Easter Festival, Yaniv made his Polish guest-conducting debut with the Opole Philharmonic of Poland. Known for having a strong rapport with orchestral musicians and audiences alike, Yaniv has also worked an assistant conductor with the New York Youth Symphony, Princeton Symphony and at the Manhattan School of Music. In past seasons, Yaniv has conducted the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, New Symphony Orchestra (Bulgaria), Thuringen Philharmonie (Germany), Ukrainian State Symphony, Castleton Festival Orchestra, University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Symphony, Greenwich Village Orchestra, and Stamford Young People's Symphony. As a collaborative conductor, he has accompanied great artists such as Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Mark Peskanov, and Francesco Libetti, in venues from Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center to Brooklyn's intimate Bargemusic.
In 2013 Yaniv finished his graduate degrees in conducting and composition at the University of Michigan, where he was in the studio of renowned conductor and pedagogue, Kenneth Kiesler. Yaniv has also had the opportunity to study with preeminent conductors Kurt Masur, Michael Tilson Thomas, Lorin Maazel, and Gustav Meier. His main composition teachers have included Tristan Murail, Bright Sheng, Evan Chambers, and Kristin Kuster.
As a child of Polish and Israeli immigrants, Yaniv grew up speaking three languages in a multi-cultural household. In support of his education, achievements, and contributions to American Society he was one of thirty-two recipients of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans in 2009.