A hush falls over the crowd as symphony orchestra conductor Danh Pham takes the podium and slowly lifts his baton. With the down stroke, he leads the performers through a seemingly effortless musical journey that enchants the audience and clearly brings Pham great joy.
The associate professor at Washington State University is known for musical selections that embrace not only classical titles but also those by contemporary composers and musicians who were marginalized or undiscovered during their lifetimes.
“In our discipline, it’s really important that we focus on classics, but we have a sense of duty as artists to promote living composers who will become the Beethovens of the future,” he says.
This year, unfortunately, many of Pham’s plans for student orchestras, wind ensembles, and bands have been disrupted or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.