Michael Gelfand, Music Director/Conductor of the Greenville Symphony since 2002, received his Bachelor of Music degree at Indiana University in Bloomington (IU), Indiana, and his Master of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), in cello and conducting. Doctoral studies were at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). He pursued conducting studies at Interlochen, IU, CIM, Académie Internationale d'été de Nice, France, Pierre Monteux School for Advanced Conductors in Maine, Conductor’s Guild Workshops in San Francisco and West Virginia, and at CCM.
Michael Gelfand was Professor of Music at the Dana School of Music of Youngstown State University from 1975 – 2013, and Director of Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, Opera and Music Theater Productions from 1980 - 1990. He is YSU Professor Emeritus, having retired from there in 2013. He was Music Director of the Ashtabula Area Orchestra from 1992 – 2008. Recent guest conducting included engagements as part of the Bulgarian Cultural Exchange with Bulgarian Maestro Svilen Simeonov, conducting the Vidin State Philharmonic and the Sofia Sinfonette. Each summer he conducts the 75 member Chamber Orchestra at the String Camp in Rapid City, SD. He is a member of the Board of Directors and a judge for the Irving Klein International String Competition held each June in San Francisco. He is founding member of the New Amici Trio, and a regular performing member of the Cleveland Virtuosi which performs at the Chagrin Valley Lutheran Church in Chagrin Falls, OH.
As a concert cellist, Gelfand has performed throughout the US, Europe and Asia. He has studied with Marion Feldman (Manhattan School of Music), Janos Starker and Fritz Magg (Indiana University), Ronald Leonard (Eastman), Theo Saltzman (Pittsburgh Symphony), William Stokking and Elsa Hilger (Philadelphia Orchestra), Harvey Shapiro (Juilliard), and Mihaly Virizlay (Baltimore Symphony). He has performed under the baton of many of the world’s leading conductors as a cellist in the Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, and Nice Philharmonic (France). He has been principal cellist of the Syracuse Symphony and Cleveland Pops Orchestra, and, since 1975, principal cellist of the Youngstown Symphony, Warren Philharmonic, and Opera Western Reserve.
Michael resides in Boardman, OH, with his wife Amy, a school psychologist with the Mahoning County Educational Service Center, and their three cats. Michael enjoys swimming, biking, traveling, playing chamber music with friends, and reading legal thrillers and science fiction. Their son Nate is a professional musician in Columbus, OH, and daughter Lily is a professional dancer with David Dorfman Dance, based in NYC.