About our New Music Director Michael Stanley
Michael Stanley is a multi-talented conductor, French horn player and music educator who has performed in such world-renowned venues as Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall and UCLA’s Royce Hall. In addition to being the newly selected Music Director and Conductor of the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra in Burbank, CA, he is also the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Westlake Village Symphony in Westlake Village, CA. As a conductor, his performances have garnered outstanding reviews, with the Los Angeles Times proclaiming that “…[his] ensemble performed beautifully.”
Mr. Stanley has conducted both nationally and internationally, including leading the prestigious YMF Debut Orchestra at the finals of the 2019 Christopher Parkening International Guitar Competition. In addition, he has appeared as guest conductor with many regional orchestras such as the Beach Cities Symphony and New Valley Symphony. An advocate for new music, he has commissioned and premiered many compositions in a variety of genres. Mr. Stanley’s versatility has led him to conduct numerous pit orchestras in shows ranging from Sweeney Todd to Jesus Christ Superstar and he is a sought-after festival adjudicator and clinician throughout Southern California.
As a music educator, Mr. Stanley is committed to providing musical opportunities to young people from diverse communities. In his role as a Teaching Artist for the Young Musicians Foundation, he has provided music instruction to underserved youth across the Los Angeles area. He is also proud to be the inaugural director of the Burbank Philharmonic’s “Discovery Conductor Project,” a unique program designed to find and train the next generation of young conductors. During his more that 20 years of music teaching experience, he has served as adjunct faculty at College of the Canyons and Los Angeles Valley College and been honored as “Teacher of the Year” for his outstanding teaching and dedication to his students.
Mr. Stanley is currently a Doctoral student at Claremont Graduate University, where he studies conducting with Dr. David Rentz. He received his MM in Orchestral Conducting from California State University, Long Beach, under the tutelage of Dr. Richard Rintoul. Among his many additional conducting teachers and mentors are Kenneth Kiesler, Jeffrey Schindler, Markand Thakar, Donald Schleicher, and Barry Brisk. Mr. Stanley earned his BA in Music summa cum laude from UCLA, majoring in French horn with Richard Todd. He continues to play horn regularly in Southern California with groups such as the Topanga Symphony, Moorpark Symphony and LA Lawyers Philharmonic.