In August 2007, Ward Stare made his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at the famed Blossom Music Center. Stare’s performance was lauded by The Plain Dealer as “clear and vibrant, with a keen ear for phrasing, balance and pacing.” Highlights of recent seasons include appearances with the Memphis Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra - both in Russia and on the orchestra’s North American tour – as well as a special performance with the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra as part of the Orchestra's "Great Artists of the World" series celebrating the 80th birthday of the King of Thailand. In 2009, Mr. Stare made his debut with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, as second conductor in Ives’ Symphony No. 4, as well as his critically acclaimed subscription debut with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.
The 2010/11 season includes Mr. Stare’s return to the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin as guest conductor, as well as his European operatic debut at the Norwegian Opera in Oslo, with a production of Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. Upcoming engagements also include summer concerts with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the DITTO Festival in Seoul (South Korea), and Mr. Stare’s debut as guest conductor with the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Mr. Stare spent the 2007/08 season as a League of American Orchestras Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and conducted concerts on the orchestra’s Toyota Symphonies for Youth Series. In the fall of 2008, Mr. Stare served as assistant conductor to Sir Andrew Davis at the Lyric Opera of Chicago for their new production of Alban Berg’s Lulu.
Mr. Stare was the recipient of both the Robert J. Harth Conductor Prize (2006) and the Aspen Conducting Prize (2007) at the Aspen Music Festival and returned in the summer of 2008 as Assistant Conductor to the Festival and its Music Director, David Zinman. In addition to his studies with Maestro Zinman, he has worked with Janos Furst and Jorma Panula as well as working with Michel Merlet in composition and musical analysis.
Following in the path of many great orchestral conductors whose careers began as instrumentalists, Mr. Stare was trained as a trombonist at the Juilliard School in Manhattan. At the age of 18, he was appointed principal trombonist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and has performed as an orchestral musician with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, among others. As a soloist, he has concertized in both the US and Europe.