American conductor Na’Zir McFadden is the newly appointed Assistant Conductor and Phillip & Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra working closely with Music Director Jader Bignamini and guest conductors. He will lead pre-concert lectures at Orchestra Hall, and conduct a variety of programs on the Educational Concert Series, Young People’s Family Concert Series, PNC Pops series, as well as DTE Community Concerts.
Na’Zir will also make his subscription debut with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in March of the 22/23 season, alongside bass-baritone Devóne Tines and clarinetist Anthony McGill.
To commence with the 2022-23 season, Na’Zir will serve as Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra. Together, they’ll present three programs — exploring the symphonies of Florence Price, Dvorak and Tchaikovsky, respectively.
An advocate for arts education, McFadden strives to provide free access to the arts for students in underserved communities. This upcoming season, McFadden will make appearances with the New York city Youth Orchestra and at the Philadelphia All-City Music Festival. In the past he also has worked with the youth ensembles in Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, St. Louis and Los Angeles. Recent engagements include a recording project with musicians from the Civic Orchestra of Chicago as part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s “Notes for Peace” program working with Hilary Hahn as his soloist. Additionally, he conducted the Penn Symphony Orchestra, at the invitation of the University of Pennsylvania. McFadden was the inaugural Apprentice Conductor of the Philadelphia Ballet Orchestra from 2020 to 2022 working with Beatrice Jona Affron. He also served as the Robert L. Poster Conducting Apprentice of the New York Youth Symphony from 2020-2021.
Na’Zir conducted his hometown orchestra – the Philadelphia Orchestra – in their “Pop-Up” series in 2017, meeting their Chief conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin who has been a mentor ever since. The Philadelphia Inquirer praised his “great stick [baton] technique and energetic presence on the podium” in their review of the concert. Na’Zir studied with Ricardo Muti during his time at the University in Chicago and took masterclasses with Andrés Orozco-Estrada