Greensboro Symphony Orchestra Announces New Music Director and Principal Guest Conductor

Kayla HineNews

Greensboro Symphony Orchestra Announces New Music Director and Principal Guest Conductor

Greensboro, NC – June 18th, 2024 – The Greensboro Symphony Orchestra (GSO) is thrilled to announce the appointment of Christopher Dragon as its new Music
Director, starting with the 2024-2025 season. This momentous decision comes after a comprehensive two-year search process, which included extensive
interviews, auditions, and valuable feedback from GSO musicians, board members, staff, subscribers, and audience members.

Christopher Dragon, currently the Resident Conductor of the Colorado Symphony and Music Director of the Wyoming Symphony, will bring his exceptional talent and dynamic leadership to Greensboro. He will be the first new Music Director of the GSO in over 20 years. His role will extend beyond planning and conducting the Masterworks Series; this year, Dragon will also lead several GSO POPS concerts and the annual GSO Education Concert Series, which provides approximately 50,000 music education experiences to children in the Triad area each year. This is fitting, considering Dragon cites Leonard Bernstein, one of the 20th century’s greatest music educators and conductors, as a major influence. Bernstein’s revolutionary approach to classical music education, particularly through his Young People’s Concerts in the 1950s-70s, stands out as a significant inspiration.

Hailing from Perth, Australia, with parents originating in Singapore, Christopher Dragon has
rapidly emerged as one of the most exciting conductors of his generation. His career began with
the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, where his flair and dedication quickly earned him
recognition. In 2015, Dragon joined the Colorado Symphony, captivating audiences with his
vibrant and engaging performances. Simultaneously, his leadership of the Wyoming Symphony
has garnered widespread acclaim. Dragon is also highly sought after as a guest conductor and has worked with many major orchestras all over the world including the San Francisco Symphony,
San Diego Symphony, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Sydney
Symphony Orchestra and the WDR Funkhausorchester. He has also collaborated with a wide
range of artists from Renee Fleming, Joshua Bell and Cynthia Erivo to groups like the Wu-Tang
Clan and Cypress Hill to name just a few.

“I am thrilled to begin this journey with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra as its new Music
Director.” Says Dragon. “I look forward to working with the talented musicians of the GSO, board
and administration to create unforgettable symphonic experiences to inspire the next generation
of music lovers. My wife, Ariadna and I absolutely loved our time in Greensboro and look forward
to immersing ourselves into the vibrant Greensboro community (along with our pup Churro).”

In another exciting development, the GSO is delighted to announce Chelsea Tipton as its new Principal Guest Conductor. His impressive skill and experience, coupled with his deep roots in Greensboro, make him a perfect fit for this role. Tipton will conduct several POPS and Masterworks concerts, providing Dragon with the flexibility needed to fulfill his commitments with the GSO, Colorado Symphony, and Wyoming Symphony.

Tipton, a Greensboro native, has enjoyed a distinguished career as a conductor. He currently holds the esteemed position of Music Director of the Symphony of Southeast Texas and serves as the Principal Pops Conductor with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. Tipton has had the honor of performing with prominent orchestras across the United States, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In 2011, Tipton was chosen to conduct for musical icon Sting’s international tour. Tipton’s connection to Greensboro and his passion for making high-quality music make him an invaluable addition to the GSO team.

“Returning to my hometown in this capacity is a dream come true,” said Chelsea Tipton. “I am
excited to collaborate with Christopher Dragon and the talented musicians of the Greensboro
Symphony to bring extraordinary performances to our community.”

Because the upcoming GSO concert season was planned long in advance of hiring a new Music
Director, several of the scheduled 2024-2025 concerts conflict with Dragon’s existing schedule.
As a result, more concerts than usual will be led by a guest conductor for the upcoming season
(see schedule below).

Saturday, September 14, 2024 – POPS Concert 1: Australian Bee Gees
Conducted by Dragon

Saturday, September 28, 2024 – Masterworks Concert 1: Gabriela Martinez, Piano
Conducted by Guest François López-Ferrer

Saturday, November 2, 2024 – Masterworks Concert 2: Chris Thile, Mandolin
Conducted by Dragon

Friday, November 22, 2024 – POPS Concert 2: The 5th Dimension
Conducted by Tipton

Saturday, January 18, 2025 – POPS Concert 3: Aretha Franklin Tribute
Conducted by Dragon

Saturday, February 1, 2025 – Masterworks Concert 3: Hina Huong-Huu, Violin
Conducted by Dragon

Friday, February 14, 2025 – POPS Concert 4: Daniel Emmet
Conducted by Guest Evan Roider

Saturday, March 1, 2025 – Masterworks Concert 4: Bryan Cheng, Cello
Conducted by Tipton

March 18-21, 2025 – GSO Education Concert Series
Conducted by Dragon

Saturday, March 22, 2025 – POPS Concert 5: Cirque de la Symphonie
Conducted by Dragon

Friday, April 11, 2025 – Masterworks Concert 5: D. J. Sparr, Thomas Flippin, Guitar
Conducted by Guest Robert Moody

Saturday, May 17, 2025 – Masterworks Concert 6: Mozart Requiem
Conducted by Tipton

Experience a new era of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra with Christopher Dragon and
Chelsea Tipton!

For Tickets: Go to / / /
or call the GSO Box Office at (336) 335-5456 x224 or email at
[email protected]

About the Greensboro Symphony:
Founded in 1959, the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra strives to enrich the cultural life of
Greensboro and surrounding areas with the highest quality music and music education programs.
This nonprofit organization impacts tens of thousands of lives annually by presenting concerts, special events, and targeted educational opportunities for students in four North Carolina counties one of the largest suites of music education programs among Southeastern orchestras.

Chris Eaton | Director of Development and PR
336-335-5456 x239 | [email protected]
*Please do not publish this information