March 31, 2016 at 11:15am

Dr. Sergey Bogza named Director of Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra

Sergey Bogza

Dr. Sergey Bogza, currently the artistic director of the Mesabi Symphony Orchestra in Virginia, Minn., has been named Music Director and Conductor of the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra (MDSO). Dr. Bogza will assume leadership of the MDSO at the beginning of the fall 2016 semester following the retirement of Dr. Michael Luxner, who has served as conductor since 1996.

An active composer and pianist, Dr. Bogza also serves as music director and conductor of the Willmar Area Symphonic Orchestra in Willmar, Minn. A native of Taganrog, Russia, he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Minnesota, Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from Central Washington University and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Portland State University.

"We are very pleased that Sergey will be joining the faculty this fall," said Dr. Stephen Widenhofer, director of the Millikin School of Music. "He will bring great vision, energy and enthusiasm to the culture at the Perkinson Music Center and to the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra."

Dr. Bogza recently served as guest conductor for the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra's Young Artist Concert on March 5.

A search committee, consisting of Millikin School of Music faculty, was tasked with selecting conductor applicants who not only exhibited outstanding potential in leading the MDSO, but could also contribute significantly as a teaching faculty member in the School of Music. Randy Reyman, professor of music, served as chairman of the search committee.

"We were extremely happy with our two top candidates, who both possessed the skills to excel in this important position," Reyman said. "Our ultimate selection of Dr. Bogza as the new MDSO music director signals an exciting new chapter in the history of the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra."

Sergey Bogza

During his time at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Bogza served as assistant conductor for the University Symphony Orchestra, University Opera Theatre and led the Campus Orchestra program. In 2014, Dr. Bogza premiered two American operas, "Sister Carrie and Rosenkrantz," and "Guildenstern" by Grammy Award-winning composers Robert Aldridge and Hershel Garfein. He also led productions of Britten's "A Midsummer Night's Dream and Smetana's "The Bartered Bride."

Prior to the University of Minnesota, Dr. Bogza was music director of the Heartland Symphony Orchestra, Hyperion Singers, and was an assistant conductor and graduate instructor at Central Washington University. Dr. Bogza has been invited to conduct the Berlin Sinfonietta and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music Orchestras, and has conducted the Discovery Series at the Oregon Bach Festival for three consecutive years.

"It is an incredible privilege to join the Millikin University faculty at the School of Music," Dr. Bogza said. "Leading the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra and working with the excellent students, faculty, staff and the tremendous people of the Orchestra Guild is a special opportunity. I hope that our mutual work will inspire, educate and expose new audiences to the exciting world of orchestral music. I look forward to serving Decatur and its surrounding communities."

Sergey Bogza

In addition to his work on the podium, Dr. Bogza is an internationally recognized composer. With over 40 compositions and arrangements, his works have been performed across the U.S. and featured at the New Music Festival in Kazan, Russia. His composition "Remember" premiered in 2013, and has since been performed in Germany and Russia.

Randy Reyman noted, "The energy and expertise he brings to the podium will help our orchestra move forward into a bright future, building upon the standard of excellence which the orchestra has enjoyed under Dr. Luxner's leadership."

Millikin University's School of Music develops the whole musician – artistically, intellectually, technically – through the integration of theory and practice in an environment where students become active learners through their relationships with faculty, who themselves continue to grow as artists, scholars, and teachers. For more information, visit