Dr. Brian Edward Dowdy is Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra and the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra. He is also Principal Conductor of Journey North Opera Company. His previous conducting positions include the Mississippi Valley Orchestra and University of Minnesota Campus Orchestra program. In addition to symphonic performances, Dowdy has recently conducted productions of Don Giovanni, Hänsel und Gretel, Susannah, Le tragédie de Carmen, and The Rape of Lucretia. He has led performances with the University of Minnesota Campus Singers, Chorus Polaris, the Great River Chorale, and the Sanctuary choir of Richmond, VA, with whom he recorded Music for Compline, an album of plainchant and renaissance motets. As an advocate for new music, Dowdy has led premier performances for the Switchboard and Hot Air Music Festivals in San Francisco, and in 2013 he conducted the Atlantic Chamber Ensemble in Project Beck, a night of 20 premiers inspired by Beck Hansen’s Song Reader.
Dowdy studied at Oberlin College, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the University of Minnesota. He holds degrees in conducting, classical guitar performance, English literature, and East Asian Studies. Dowdy’s interest in leadership development also led him to partner with Delphi Initiatives, where he facilitated leadership-training programs and team-building interventions for small non-profits, regional health care systems, and international relief organizations. His principal mentors have included Mark Russell Smith, Kathy Saltzman Romey, Daniel Myssyk, Erin Freeman, David Tanenbaum, and Stephen Aron. Dowdy currently resides in Minneapolis with his wife Susan and their son Luca. Outside of his musical activities, he enjoys practicing Aikido and refurbishing bicycles.