Daniel Brier is the Resident Conductor of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and Music Director & Principal Conductor of Opera Wilmington. In recent seasons, he has conducted the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic, Adrian Symphony Orchestra, Whiting Park Festival Orchestra, and St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic. He has also collaborated with a diverse range of artists including Bobby McFerrin, Pablo Sainz Villegas, Rachel Barton Pine, Jennifer Frautschi, and more.
Mr. Brier’s work comfortably spans symphony, opera, and multi-media performances. Now in his eighth season with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, he has conducted the orchestra in numerous programs including subscription masterworks, chamber orchestra, family, education, pops, holiday, movie, and summer parks concerts. Upcoming highlights include performances of Dimitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9, Jonathan Bailey Holland’s Motor City ReMix, Manuel de Falla’s El amor brujo, Gunther Schuller’s A Journey into Jazz, a production of The Nutcracker, a collaboration with singer/songwriter Nashon Holloway, and a live to picture performance of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. In his third season as Music Director & Principal Conductor of Opera Wilmington, Mr. Brier leads a festival of orchestral songs by Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, Florence Price, Gustav Mahler, and Richard Strauss as well as a full production of Die Zauberflöte. As an opera conductor, he recently conducted productions of Puccini’s La Bohéme, Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, and Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. As a movie conductor, he has conducted live to picture performances of the original Star Wars trilogy (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, The Return of the Jedi), How to Train Your Dragon, Jaws, A Jungle Book, and more.
As an educator, Mr. Brier has held teaching positions at the University of Michigan String Preparatory Academy, Kalamazoo Kids In Tune, Orion Chamber Music Society, and more. While in graduate school, he was a graduate student instructor at the University of Michigan. In recent years, he filled sabbaticals at Western Michigan University and Andrews University. During the 2021-22 season, he will guest conduct the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music Symphony Orchestra.
Previously, Mr. Brier was Interim Music Director of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, founding Music Director of the Spectrum Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, and conductor of the University of Michigan Orpheus Singers. In 2010, he was awarded a prize for his “exceptional conducting” during the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic’s International Conducting Competition. Later, in 2012, he received an invitation to study with John Nelson at the Orchestre de chambre de Paris. Mr. Brier has conducted in masterclasses with Giancarlo Guerrero, Hugh Wolff, Jorma Panula, Alexander Polishchuk, Victor Yampolsky, Carl Topilow, and Ragnar Bohlin.
Mr. Brier received his musical training at the University of Michigan’s renowned conducting program earning degrees in orchestral conducting with Kenneth Kiesler and choral conducting with Dr. Jerry Blackstone. While at the University of Michigan, he served as an assistant conductor for the world premiere recording of Milhaud’s L’Orestie d'Eschyle conducted by Kenneth Kiesler. Recorded live on Naxos, the album earned a GRAMMY® nomination in 2015. He is a recipient of the Julian and Vera McIntosh scholarship for promising young musicians and conductors, the Dr. Charlene Archibeque scholarship for choral conductors, and the Dorothy Greenwald scholarship.