Music Director

Brian Edward Dowdy is Artistic Director of the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director of Journey North Opera Company. His prior conducting positions include the St. CloudSymphony Orchestra, Mississippi Valley Orchestra and the University of Minnesota Campus Orchestra program. Brian’s programming centers music by living composers and composers from underrepresented and marginalized populations, along with works that bear particular social relevance for today’s audiences.

With the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, Brian has recently premiered pieces by Sahba Aminikia, Mary Kouyoumdjian, and Andrew Kim, with a new work by Yaz Lancaster to be premiered in May 2024. He has led additional premiers 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. Brian’s recent productions with Journey North Opera Company include Missy Mazzoli’s Proving Up, Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters, and Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, the production of which was named one of “The 10 concerts that shone brightest in 2019” by the Twin Cities’ Star Tribune.

Brian 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. Brian currently resides in Minneapolis with his wife and son. When not making music, he can usually be found riding or fixing bicycles or at the dojo practicing Aikido, the Japanese martial “art of peace.”