Conductors

University of Michigan Campus Orchestras are conducted by Graduate Student Conductors at the School of Music, Theatre and Dance. Some of the past Campus Orchestras conductors are now assistant conductors or music directors in professional orchestras around the country.
Rotem Weinberg, 2018-2019 CSO Conductor
Photo of Rotem Weinberg
Israeli conductor Rotem Weinberg currently serves as the music director of both the Campus Symphony Orchestra and the Michigan Pops Orchestra at the University of Michigan. He began his conducting studies at the age of seventeen, under the guidance of Vag Papian. Before starting his academic studies, he served in the Israel Defense Forces military band as head librarian and assistant conductor. He earned a B.M. in orchestral conducting from the Buchman-Mehta School of Music of Tel-Aviv University, where he studied with Prof. Yoav Talmi, Yi-an Xu, and Ronen Borshevsky. He earned a Master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Michigan. Currently, he is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) degree in orchestral conducting at the University of Michigan with Prof. Kenneth Kiesler. Rotem participated in workshops and masterclasses with world renowned orchestral conductors, including Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta, and Zsolt Nagy. He participated in additional conducting workshops with Joseph Missal, Felix Hauswirth, and Laszlo Marosi. In his native Israel he led many orchestral, wind band, and vocal ensembles, achieving national acclaim as a conductor and educator. He received many honors and awards for his conducting and musicianship, including the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Excellence Grant in orchestral conducting (2014, 2015), the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music Excellence Scholarship (2011-2014), and the Tel Aviv University Dean of Arts Excellence Award (2011, 2012) for his outstanding musical and academic achievements. Rotem made his opera conducting debut in the fall of 2017, serving as the cover conductor for the University of Michigan’s production of William Bolcom’s new opera, Dinner at Eight. In February 2018 he served as the first assistant conductor for the test performance of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess’ new critical edition. An advocate of contemporary music, Rotem collaborated with many composers. He premiered works by Tyler Arnold, Nina Shekhar, Sawyer Denton, and Natalie Moller.

Tal Benatar, 2018-2019 CPO Conductor
Tal Benatar is an Israeli-American conductor, arranger and guitarist from Columbus, Ohio. He is currently studying Orchestral Conducting at the University of Michigan with Professor Kenneth Kiesler and is a pre-candidate for the Doctorate in Music. Tal has participated in masterclasses with distinguished conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle and made his European Debut in the summer of 2018. He also serves as the Assistant Conductor of the Michigan Pops Orchestra. As a genre defying musician, Tal has performed repertoire spanning many centuries on many instruments. He has performed basso continuo on organ, harpsichord and baroque guitar in chamber, orchestral and operatic repertoire. A strong advocate of new music, Tal sings with the //meridian vocal ensemble, has conducted world premieres by University of Michigan composers Aaron Hendrix and Marco Antonio Bertuccelli, has been featured as a guitar soloist with University of Michigan’s Orpheus singers and has performed on electronics with the U of M Contemporary Directions Ensemble and University Symphony Orchestra. Tal graduated with honors from the University of Virginia (UVa) in 2014 with a B.A. in Music and Political Science. At UVa, he served as the Music Director of the Academical Village People (AVP); a men’s a cappella group winning critical acclaim for the studio album Another Round, produced under his leadership. Tal also pursued conducting at UVA, studying with Kate Tamarkin and Michael Slon.