John LoPiccolo, returns for his 8th season as Conductor and Music Director of the Poway Symphony Orchestra as an accomplished musician with more than 50 years of professional conducting and teaching experience. His love for music began at age eight when he was introduced to the piano by his parents. Further studies, and a lot of practicing, lead him to attend the famed High School of Music and Art in New York City and Mannes Conservatory of Music where he developed an interest for conducting after having several opportunities to lead orchestral groups. From there, LoPiccolo ventured off to the West Coast to attend San Francisco State University where he received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education and later received a Master of Music Degree in Orchestral Conducting from Eastern Washington University.
LoPiccolo served as conductor and music director to the Helena Symphony, Idaho Falls Symphony, and Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony where he was instrumental in raising the artistic profile and financial growth of both orchestras in the twenty years he held these positions, respectively. In addition, he was conductor for the Living Arts, Inc. New York touring production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess performing over 800 performances which took him throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Trinidad, Canada, Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. He also served on the conducting faculty at the Festival at Sandpoint and Brevard Music Center, working closely with his mentor, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and music conductor, Gunther Schuller. In addition to his conducting, LoPiccolo was most recently an adjunct professor of music at Idaho State University and taught private music lessons.
Having appeared as guest conductor to 15 orchestras, in the US and abroad LoPiccolo has received invaluable experience directing groups that vary in artistic abilities. He was appointed cover conductor for the Boise Philharmonic during the 1995-1996 concert season and has been an adjudicator for the Idaho State Civic Symphony, the Idaho Falls Symphony Young Artist Competition and the Idaho Falls Music Club Scholarship Awards. He was the recipient of the 1996 Outstanding Service to the Community Award presented by the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce and “50, Who Make a Difference” in the community Award presented by the City of Helena, Helena Montana
Some of the highlights of his career include, implementing a “Sponsor-A-Concert” program, introducing an annual “Pops Concert”, conducting critically-acclaimed “Young People’s” concerts for more than 6,000 school children annually, established a resident professional string quartet, and created the Idaho Falls Symphony Chorale. Sharing the podium with Gunther Schuller conducting the Spokane Symphony.
In addition, He has appeared with Guest Artists Misha Dichter, Garrick Ohlsson, Daniel Heifetz, Stephanie Chase, Chin Kim, Lorin Hollander, Carol Wincenc, Heidi Lehwalder, Alexander Toradze, Magic Circle Mime Co., Novacek and Bissiri, The Chestnut Brass, David Hickman, George Zuckerman, Gary Karr, Samuel Smith, Jose Feghali, Andreas Bach, William Corbett-Jones, Cecil Licad, Frederik Moyer and the Oregon Ballet.
When not studying one of the more than 1000 scores in his collection, LoPiccolo enjoys cooking, computers, constructing and flying model airplanes, listening to great music and spending time with his wife Mary, daughter Sabrina, son-in-law Jack and granddaughters Madeline and Kennedy