Director, Orchestral Studies;
Heralded by the Los Angeles Times as “. . .a shining example of podium authority and musical enlightenment,” NEAL STULBERG has garnered consistent international acclaim for performances of clarity, insight and conviction. Since 2005, he has served as Director of Orchestral Studies at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. From 2014 to 2018, he served as Chair of the UCLA Department of Music.
In North America, Mr. Stulberg has led the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta, Fort Worth, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Mexico City, National, New Jersey, New World, Oregon, Pacific, Phoenix, Saint Louis, San Antonio, San Francisco, Utah and Vancouver symphonies, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and New York City Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. A former assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Carlo Maria Giulini and music director of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, he is a recipient of the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts Conductors Award.
Mr. Stulberg’s European appearances have included performances in Germany with the WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln and the orchestras of Augsburg, Bochum, Dortmund, Freiburg, Herford, Jena, Münster, Nürnberg, Oldenburg and Rostock. In Holland, he has conducted the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and led the Netherlands Ballet Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra, North Holland Philharmonic, Gelders Orchestra and Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam. He has also appeared as guest conductor with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra (Norway), Warsaw Chamber Orchestra, Klaipeda Chamber Orchestra (Lithuania), Athens State Orchestra, London Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Barcelona Liceu Orchestra and Norwegian National Opera Orchestra.
International engagements have also included the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic, Korea Philharmonic (KBS), Queensland, Adelaide and West Australian symphonies, Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Israel Sinfonietta and Ra’anana Symphonette.
An acclaimed pianist, Stulberg has appeared as recitalist, chamber musician and with major orchestras and at international festivals as pianist/conductor. His performances of Mozart concertos conducted from the keyboard are uniformly praised for their buoyant virtuosity and interpretive vigor. In 2011-12, he performed the complete Mozart sonatas for violin and piano with violinist Guillaume Sutre at UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall and at the Grandes Heures de Saint Emilion festival in France. In 2018, he performed throughout South Africa on a recital tour with saxophonist Douglas Masek and in 2022, appeared as solo pianist in the world premiere of Inclusion, a new work for pianist and chamber orchestra by Hugh Levick.
Mr. Stulberg has conducted premieres of works by Paul Chihara, Mohammed Fairouz, Jan Friedlin, William Kraft, Alexander Krein, Betty Olivero, Steve Reich, Peter Schat, Lalo Schifrin, Dmitri Smirnov, Earl Stewart, Morton Subotnick, Joan Tower and Peter van Onna, among others, and has also led works by UCLA composers Münir Beken, Bruce Broughton, Kenny Burrell, Mark Carlson, Ian Krouse, David Lefkowitz and James Newton. He conducted the period-instrument orchestra Philharmonia Baroque in a festival of Mozart orchestral and operatic works, and has brought to life several silent movies from the early 1900s, including the Russian classic New Babylon, Shostakovich’s first film score. In August 2022, he conducted the North American premiere of Bas-Sheve, a recently rediscovered and orchestrated 1924 Yiddish-language opera by composer Henekh Kon and librettist Moishe Broderzon, at the Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto. In 2023, Stulberg led acclaimed performances of Dave Brubeck’s cantata, The Gates of Justice (1969) and the West Coast premiere of Lera Auerbach’s Symphony No. 6 (Vessels of Light) (2022) as part of the School of Music’s Music and Justice series, presented in collaboration with the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience.
Collaborators have included John Adams; Leonard Bernstein; Chris, Dan and Darius Brubeck; Dee Dee Bridgewater; John Clayton; Mercer Ellington; Michael Feinstein; Philip Glass; Morton Gould; David Krakauer; Lar Lubovitch; Peter Martins; Mark Morris; Angel Romero; Cornel West; and Christopher Wheeldon. He has conducted Philip Glass’ opera Akhnaten at the Rotterdam Festival and Thomas Adès’ Powder Her Face with Long Beach Opera in Los Angeles, and has recorded for Naxos, West German Radio, Donemus, Yarlung Records, Sono Luminus and the Composers Voice label.
Mr. Stulberg has maintained a career-long passion for the training of young musicians. He has conducted and taught at the New World Symphony, Indiana University Summer Institute, Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, New Zealand School of Music, Henry Mancini Institute, Los Angeles Philharmonic Summer Institute, National Repertory Orchestra, Interlochen Arts Academy, American-Russian Youth Orchestra, Turkish Music State Conservatory (Istanbul), National Conservatory of Belarus (Minsk), Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing), Capitol Normal University (Beijing), Shanghai Conservatory of Music and National Taiwan Normal University. In December 2019, he taught and lectured in Israel at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and Haifa University and returns to conduct its symphony orchestra in June 2024.
A native of Detroit, Mr. Stulberg is a graduate of Harvard College, the University of Michigan and the Juilliard School. He studied conducting with Franco Ferrara at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, piano with Leonard Shure, Theodore Lettvin, William Masselos and Mischa Kottler, and viola with Ara Zerounian.