Robert Whalen (he/him/his) joins the Lewis and Clark Faculty as Interim Director of Orchestral Activities for the 2021-22 Academic Year. Previously, Whalen served on faculty at the University of Chicago as Director of the University Chamber Orchestra. He was personally selected by Lorin Maazel to serve as his Conducting Fellow at the Castleton Festival and has worked as Assistant Conductor at the WDR in Cologne, Germany.
Whalen began his engagement with Opera Philadelphia in 2019 as a staff conductor and has prepared productions of The Love for Three Oranges, Semele, and Verdi’s Requiem. Whalen has collaborated with numerous institutional partners, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, American Philosophical Society, American Composers Forum, University of Pennsylvania, and the Barnes Foundation.
A passionate advocate for contemporary music, Whalen is Co-Founder and Music Director of the Philadelphia-based ensemble SoundLAB and was Conductor of the Contemporary Music Workshop at the University of Minnesota. He has collaborated with many leading composers, including Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky and Grammy-winning composer Augusta Read Thomas, Chaya Czernowin, Zosha di Castri, Clara Iannotta and many others.
Whalen earned a BA cum laude from Cornell University, a master’s degree from the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota.