Orange County, Calif.-based Pacific Symphony’s assistant conductor Roger Kalia and San Diego, Calif.-based Sameer Patel, associate conductor of the San Diego Symphony, are among nine conductors to have received the 2017 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award.
The award supports and encourages young musicians in the early stages of their classical careers.
Co-founder and music director of the Lake George Music Festival in upstate New York, and music director of Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra, Kalia is only the second assistant conductor in the Pacific Symphony’s history to have his contract extended for two additional years.
His previous posts include serving for two seasons as assistant conductor of the Charlotte Symphony, and as a music director with both the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra of Los Angeles and Columbus Symphony Orchestra. His recent and upcoming engagements include the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, Chicago Sinfonietta at Symphony Hall, Long Beach Symphony, Great Falls Symphony, Owensboro Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Adrian Symphony, and Bakersfield Symphony.
Kalia has also served as the cover conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony and Indianapolis Symphony. A recipient of the 2013 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, Kalia conducted the Memphis Symphony in 2011 after winning second prize in their International Conducting Competition, which led to his debut the following season and launched his professional career. In 2011, Kalia served as a fellow at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, chosen by Marin Alsop.
A native of New York, Kalia received his doctorate from Indiana University, where he served as an associate instructor and assistant conductor of the IU Opera Theater and New Music Ensemble.
Patel is currently in his second season as the associate conductor of the San Diego Symphony, where he was promoted after serving only one season as assistant conductor. He also begins his tenure as associate conductor of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony this summer 2017.
Patel’s recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements include subscription debuts with the San Diego Symphony, The Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera, and the La Jolla Symphony, and appearances with the National Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and Naples Philharmonic.
A recipient of the 2016 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, Patel is also a Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholar. In 2013, Patel was one of only six conductors selected by the League of American orchestras for the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview.
Internationally, Patel, a graduate of the University of Michigan, has guest conducted with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo, Leipziger Sinfonieorchester, and Orchestra Giovanile Italiana.