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Michael Berkowitz

With his creative programming, original arrangements, and charismatic stage presence, Conductor Michael Berkowitz has been hailed by critics as “a model of high quality conducting technique”. Michael’s entertaining and original Pops programs include everything from Broadway to Hollywood, Garland to Sinatra, Motown to John Denver and the Beatles, most with the ORIGINAL ARRANGEMENTS! His acclaimed conducting technique, as well as his comfortable and humorous manner on the Podium, have made him a favorite of audiences and Orchestras throughout the US and abroad.

Currently serving his 10th season as Principal Pops Conductor of the Symphony Pops Series, Michael has been described as “providing the sparkle of the evening with his witty banter and self-assured conducting”.

Michael has lead numerous Orchestras including the Boston Pops, London Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, Pittsburgh Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, National Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Naples Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, Paducah Pops, Carolina Pops, Lexington Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Colorado Symphony, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, The Symphony Orchestra of Guatemala, Elgin Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, Hartford Symphony as well as Orchestras throughout Italy, France, Sweden and Germany.

Michael served as Marvin Hamlisch’s Music Director for a decade appearing with every major US orchestra and also served as Music Director/Conductor for Liza Minnelli’s Tony Award Winning “Liza’s at the Palace” on Broadway, conducted Liza with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and lead her tour across the UK, Spain, Russia, Germany, and Italy.

Michael has performed as a drummer for Henry Mancini, Liza Minnelli, Michael Crawford, Billy Joel, Sting, Elton John, and Bette Midler; conducted for Roberta Flack, Maureen McGovern, Michael Feinstein, and Sarah Brightman. He has performed on Broadway and in concert with the original casts of shows by Jerome Robbins, Michael Kidd, Stephen Sondheim, Kander & Ebb, Jerry Herman, Marvin Hamlisch and Bob Fosse.

Michael's many recordings include the Original Cast Albums of “Jerome Robbins Broadway,” “Liza's At The Palace,” “Follies” with the NY Philharmonic, “My Favorite Broadway,” “Anyone Can Whistle,” “Betty Buckley at Carnegie Hall,” “Tribute To Stephen Sondheim at Carnegie Hall,” “Route 66” with the Cincinnati Pops and many more. He is featured on recordings with Placido Domingo, Linda Eder, Steve Lawrence and countless Movies, Jingles and Television performances. On Broadway, Michael has collaborated with Theatre Legends such as Harold Prince, Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne, Michael Bennett, Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins and Michael Kidd.

Michael’s performance career as a drummer began at the age of 11 in his hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana. After studying music at Indiana University, he began touring with Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams, and Henry Mancini. Mancini persuaded him to move to Los Angeles, where he became one of the city's busiest studio musicians, working with stars such as Gloria Estefan, Linda Ronstadt, Ringo Starr, Helen Reddy, Seals and Crofts, and The Association. Michael has performed on many television programs including The Academy Awards, The Tonight Show, The Tony Awards, The Today Show, A Capitol Fourth, Great Performances, Live From Lincoln Center and Concerts at the White House.

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Santa Rosa Symphony
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