Neal Stulberg
Professor, Conducting

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.

19th Annual All-Star Concert Promises Many Musical Firsts for Performers
The 19th Annual All-Star Concert, held by the School of Music, provides students in the department the chance to perform as soloists with the UCLA Philharmonia, the university’s flagship orchestra.
UCLA Faculty on Beyoncé and Challenge of Audience Silence
To help unpack the meanings of Beyoncé’s challenge to her audiences to self-mute, the LA Times turned to Stig Edgren (music industry), Catherine Provenzano (musicology), and Neal Stulberg (orchestral studies
Can Dave Brubeck's Cantata Bring Black and Jewish Communities Together
By Larry Blumenfeld. In late February at Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles, Remy Ohara, a UCLA music student, sounded a shofar, the ram’s horn usually used for High

Related Members

See All Music Faculty
Alison Deane
Associate Adjunct Professor
Vladimir Chernov
Distinguished Professor - Voice Performance
Dante De Silva
Lecturer - Composition, Music Theory
David Lefkowitz
Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Music
Iris Malkin
Lecturer - Vocal Coaching
Ian Krouse
Distinguished Professor
Juliana Gondek
Distinguished Professor, Voice Performance
Ryan Brown
Lecturer -- Voice
Travis J. Cross
Director of Bands; Professor - Conducting
Theresa Dimond
Lecturer - Percussion Performance
Joshua Ranz
Lecturer - Clarinet Performance
Johanna Gamboa-Kroesen
Assistant Professor--Music Education
Boris Allakhverdyan
Lecturer - Clarinet Performance, Principal Clarinet LA Philharmonic
James Miller
Lecturer - Trombone Performance; Associate Principal Trombone LA Phil
Gloria Cheng
Adjunct Professor - Contemporary Music, Performance Studies
Varty Manouelian
Lecturer - Violin Performance; Violin LA Phil
Jan Berry Baker
Professor of Saxophone, Vice Chair of the Department of Music, and Special Assistant to the Dean for Faculty Mentoring
Lou Anne Neill
Lecturer - Harp Performance; Harp LA Phil
Cheryl Lin Fielding
Lecturer - Vocal Diction, Vocal Coaching
Christoph Bull
Adjunct Professor - Organ Performance
Amy Sanchez
Lecturer - Horn Performance
Nick DePinna
Adjunct Assistant Professor--Musicianship
Aubrey Foard
Lecturer - Tuba Performance
Lucy Yates
Lecturer - Vocal Diction, Vocal Coaching
Rakefet Hak
Music Director of Opera UCLA, Lecturer
Kay Rhie
Assistant Professor
Che-Yen Chen
Professor - Viola Performance
Lily Chen-Hafteck
Professor and Special Assistant to the Inaugural Dean for Curricular Reform
Hitomi Oba
Director of Contemporary Jazz Ensemble, Lecturer
Inna Faliks
Professor - Head of Piano
Ji Young An
Lecturer - Violin Performance
Herbie Hancock
Adjunct Professor; LA Phil Guest Artist
Adam Gilberti
Lecturer - Music Education/Woodwinds
Michael Dean
Professor - Voice Performance
Jens Lindemann
Distinguished Professor of Trumpet
David Kaplan
Inaugural Shapiro Family Chair in Piano Performance; Assistant Professor
Ben Hong
Lecturer - Cello Performance
Victoria Kirsch
Lecturer - Vocal Coaching
Movses Pogossian
Distinguished Professor of Violin; Founder and Advisor, Armenian Music Program - Music Performance
Arturo O’Farrill
Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion; Professor
James Bass
Professor and Chair of the Department of Music, Director of Choral Studies
Wendy Caldwell
Lecturer - Vocal Coaching
Benjamin Smolen
Lecturer - Flute Performance
Gregory Goodall
Lecturer - Percussion Performance
Sarah Koo Freeman
Visiting Professor - Cello Performance
Chris Hanulik
Adjunct Professor - String Bass Performance; Principal Bass LA Phil
John Steinmetz
Lecturer - Bassoon Performance
Shahāb Pāranj
Composition – Lecturer and Postdoctoral Scholar, Contemporary concert music
Brendan McBrien
Lecturer--Music Education
Jonathan Davis
Lecturer - Oboe Performance
Peter Kazaras
Distinguished Professor - Director of Opera UCLA
William Kinderman
Elaine Krown Klein Chair in Performance Studies, Professor

Explore Other Degrees

Conducting
Graduate study and training in choral, orchestral, or wind conducting
Ethnomusicology
The study of global musical traditions through performance training, research, and field work
Global Jazz Studies
Jazz performance and musicianship courses are paired with African American Studies
BA
Music Composition
Mentorship in the creation and realization of music for concerts, opera, and visual media
Music Education
Preparation for music educators leading to a BA and teaching credential in just four years
BA
Music Industry
A leadership-focused professional degree which prepares students to transform the creative, entrepreneurial, and executive structures of the music industry
Musicology
The scholarly study of the histories, cultures, and critical interpretations of music and music-making
Music Performance
Study and training towards professional performance careers in Western classical music