George Skipworth


George Skipworth

Following seven years of touring as a concert pianist and professional accompanist/chamber player, appearances with more than fifty orchestras and 35 operatic roles as a bass-baritone, Dr. George Skipworth began an international conducting career throughout the U.S., Europe, Ukraine, and Russia. His conducting studies were taken with Jon Robertson and Jose Rambaldi, with coaching from Kurt Masur of the New York Philharmonic, Sergiu Commissiona of New York City Opera and the Baltimore Symphony, and Henry Holt of Seattle Opera.

International engagements have included the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine in Kiev, the Kharkiv Philharmonic, the Prokofiev Conservatory Orchestra of Donetsk, and the Volgograd Symphony Orchestra and Volgograd Music College Chorus, with which he premiered his Intimations of Immortality for large orchestra and chorus. Moscow appearances included the National Pushkin Museum and the Glinka Museum.

Skipworth opened the Dublin International Symphonic Festival with Mahler's Symphony No. 5 in Christ Church Cathedral and premiered another of his works, Four Irish Songs for Soprano & Orchestra in the same concert, featuring Barbara Wester, soprano. He conducted four concerts for the Aegean Verdi Festival, including a concert version of Giovanna D'Arco, using the original alternate libretto, Orietta di Lesbo, which Verdi employed for a short time. There, with a performance of Scheherazade, a premier of his Isis, Prayer to the Goddess for two sopranos was presented, with Barbara Wester and Ioanna Sfekas Karvelas. Skipworth made numerous appearances in Italy, including Florence, Arezzo, Perugia, and Petrolo, several with the Academia Dell'Arte. He conducted a tribute concert  at the San Benedetto Monastery in the hills of Florence, featuring Beethoven's Eroica Symphony. In the Piccolo Teatro of Arezzo, he premiered a ballet score, Catarina de Pazzi with tableaux staging and readings of early Italian poetry. The full ballet was later premiered at Whitman College of Washington State, with original choreographer Ida Lee Hutson Fish. While in Italy, Skipworth served as the lone American judge for the Concorso d'Arezzo Internazionale per Compositore. 

In the U.S., Skipworth served as a Resident Conductor for Tennessee Opera in Nashville, and for California Opera in Fresno. In various capacities as either singer, coach, mainstage pianist or audition pianist, he has worked with over a dozen national and regional opera companies, including the companies of New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Other American conducting engagements have included the Seattle Philharmonic (Strauss-Death & Transfiguration), the Nashville Symphony Orchestra (Summer Lights Festival), Opera Memphis and the Memphis Sinfonia Rara.

Skipworth's Requiem Mass was performed on successive nights in Baltimore, including a performance at the Peabody Conservatory. His symphonic poem Stalingrad was premiered in Los Angeles with the UCLA Philharmonia, and Intimations of Immortality received its American premiere at the St. George Choral Festival, along with his Solemn Processional and Te Deum. Skipworth has composed three one-act operas entitled Three Roads to Waitsburg, and the Trio from his Roxane de Bergerac was presented at the Charleston Heights Arts Center in Las Vegas, NV. Eight Songs on the Poems of Emily Dickinson was first presented at Syracuse University, and The Chicago Songs for bass/baritone were first presented in Los Angeles.