American conductor Benjamin Manis joined the Utah Symphony as Associate Conductor in September 2022, leading the orchestra on tour as well as at Abravanel Hall and the Deer Valley Music Festival. Before moving to Salt Lake City, Mr. Manis spent three seasons as Resident Conductor of the Houston Grand Opera, making his debut with Verdi’s Rigoletto. Other highlights of his time in Houston include performances of Carmen, Romeo et Juliette and The Snowy Day. He led 4 world premieres, among them the 2020 world premiere of Marian’s Song with the subsequent HGO Digital filmed version and Miller Outdoor Theatre performances of the same work. Mr. Manis returns to HGO in the 22/23 season to lead productions of Tosca and El Milagro del Recuerdo.
Winner of the 2022 and 2019 Solti Foundation US Career Assistance Awards, Mr. Manis has served as cover conductor for the St. Louis, Dallas, and National Symphonies, working with conductors Gianandrea Noseda, David Robertson, and Stéphane Denève. Over the course of three years in the Aspen Conducting Academy he assisted and worked closely with conductors such as Robert Spano, Ludovic Morlot, Leonard Slatkin, James Conlon and Vasily Petrenko. After winning the Aspen Conducting Prize, Mr. Manis was invited to returned to Aspen in the summer of 2021 as assistant conductor, where he conducted two programs with the Aspen Chamber Symphony.
Mr. Manis studied cello and conducting at the Colburn School, where he conducted outreach concerts in public schools across Los Angeles and performed Lutoslawski’s Cello Concerto as soloist with conductor Robert Spano. A student of the late Larry Rachleff he completed his Master of Music degree in 2019 at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.