Artistic Director and Co-Founder with Ruth Dobson of the Astoria Music Festival, where his production of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, Verdi’s Falstaff, and the first American staging of the newly discovered opera Der Stein der Weisen by Mozart and his friends were listed among the Northwest’s “Top Ten Classical Events of the Year” by The Oregonian.
He is internationally active as conductor, composer and festival director. In Russia, he was named Principal Guest Conductor of the Siberian State Philharmonic in 2006 and Producing Artistic Director at the large Globus Theater in Novosibirsk, where he led the highly acclaimed Russian premiere of West Side Story in 2007. As conductor of the Amadeus Opera Ensemble, he led annual productions of Mozart operas in Salzburg, and he recently directed the U.S. State Department’s American Music Festival in Chisinau, Moldova. Recent projects have included La Traviata and Rigoletto for Portland SummerFest’s “Opera in the Park” the world premiere of Mussorgsky’s opera Sorochinsky Fair in the composer’s original version, Mahler in Russia and Beethoven in Bucharest.
He is featured on over forty recordings with the London Philharmonic, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Slovak State Philharmonic, Czech Radio Symphony, Korean Symphony, Pacific Symphony and others. His CD’s have received Grammy nominations, “Record of the Year” and “Classical Hall of Fame” awards, and Billboard Bestseller listings. A long-time resident of Vienna and London, he appeared in Vienna’s Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Salzburg’s Mozarteum, Royal Philharmonic Hall and other historic sites and concertized with many leading soloists, among them violinists Menuhin, Szeryng, Milstein and Ricci, pianists Arrau, Gutierrez, and Browning, cellists Starker, Rose and Harrell, and singers Thomas Hampson, Anna Moffo, Roberta Peters, Dorothy Kirsten, Ruth Ann Swenson and Hans Hotter. As educator, he directed orchestra and opera programs at several American universities and has taught at the Glinka Conservatory in Russia, National Music Academies of Romania and Moldova, and Mozart Academy in Austria. He received his PhD from UCLA, diploma and conducting awards from the Chigiana Music Academy in Italy, a Fulbright Fellowship to the Vienna Music Academy, and Conducting Fellowships to Tanglewood. While still a student he was assistant to Zubin Mehta and Seiji Ozawa in California and Leonard Bernstein in Vienna.
He founded Southern California’s Pacific Symphony Orchestra and built it into the nation’s fastest growing professional orchestra, bringing it to international attention through recordings, broadcasts, appearances on BBC and American television, and 40 world premieres. His many performances in the Los Angeles and Orange County Music Centers included rare productions of Schoenberg’s Pelleas und Melisande and mammoth Die Gurrelieder, American premiere of Prokofiev’s Ivan the Terrible film score, West Coast premiere of George Crumb’s huge Star Child, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, and annual festivals of Mahler symphonies.
On June 9, 2010 in London, Keith Clark was named “Number One on the People’s Classical Chart,” designating his orchestral recording of Debussy’s Clair de Lune as “the world’s most listened-to classical music track of 2009.” In 2011, he was awarded the American Prize for Artistic Excellence in Opera Conducting for his production of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck in the Astoria Music Festival.