Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra Announces New Director

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Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra Announces Benjamin Firer as New Music Director

Published: August 3, 2020.

The Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) announces the appointment of Dr. Benjamin Firer as its new music director. Firer leads the award-winning youth orchestra following the retirement of Dr. Lawrence Sisk after serving 29 years.

“I am thrilled to join the MYSO family as their music director,” said Firer. “I am passionate about inspiring a lifelong love of music to a diverse population of students.”

Firer is director of Orchestra and Opera at Northern Illinois University, where he conducts the NIU Philharmonic, Opera Theatre, and teaches music courses. At NIU, Firer helped design a new master’s in conducting degree program, and he has built a thriving graduate orchestral conducting studio. Firer is also conductor of the Northeastern Illinois University and the Chicago Chamber Music Festival. Firer led the Dubuque Symphony Youth Orchestra during their 50th anniversary season, which culminated in a side-by-side concert with the acclaimed Minneapolis Youth Symphony.

A committed educator, he was engaged as a teaching artist through the Yale University Music in Schools Initiative, providing instruction at the John C. Daniels Magnet School while serving as music director of the Yale-Saybrook College Orchestra. Firer has held posts as interim associate director of orchestras at the Pennsylvania State University, summer philharmonic conductor at the Merit School of Music, director of orchestras at Juniata College, and music director of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Orchestras. He holds a doctorate in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University and a master’s degree from Yale University.

Lewis University is an innovative and forward-thinking Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,300 students. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected and socially responsible graduates. Visit for further information.

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