2018–19 Season: Conductor, Carmen
Making her San Francisco Opera debut conducting Carmen, rising conductor Michelle Merrill is the newly appointed Music Director of the Coastal Symphony of Georgia. She recently completed four years as the Associate Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, where she also carried the title of Phillip and Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador. Merrill is a recipient of a 2016 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award as well as the 2013 Ansbacher Conducting Fellowship as awarded by members of the Vienna Philharmonic and the American Austrian Foundation, which enabled her to be in residence at the Salzburg Festival.
Merrill’s recent and upcoming engagements include the Orchestre National d’Île-de-France, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, West Virginia Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic, Symphoria (Syracuse), and Round Top Music Festival Institute. In past seasons, she has conducted concerts with the Jacksonville Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera, Boise Philharmonic, New Music Detroit, and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, where she formerly served as Assistant Conductor.
Merrill studied conducting with Dr. Paul C. Phillips at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts, where she holds a Master of Music degree in conducting and a Bachelor of Music in performance.