Recognized by critics as offering “tremendously sensitive direction” and being “a gifted and spirited conductor,” Philip Bauman currently serves as Music Director of the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Michigan City Messiah conductor of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Youth Orchestra and Conductor of the South Suburban College Orchestra. Known for his charismatic presence on and off the podium he is frequently hailed for his innovative programs and consistently captivating performances.
In 2017, he was a finalist for the music director position with the Carmel Symphony Orchestra (IN). Mr. Bauman, in the role of Hudson Finn I, conducted the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra in the 2016 release of First String, a motion picture drama of love, music, and science. In addition to leading the orchestra in the movie, Mr. Bauman has a featured speaking role in the movie. The La Porte County Symphony is prominently featured in the film in addition to members of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Youth Orchestra.
In the summer of 2014, Mr. Bauman led a successful concert tour conducting in Austria and Germany. Performances were held in Vienna, Munich and Salzburg where he led the concluding ceremony of the International Cantus MM Music Festival. A passionate advocate for music education, Mr. Bauman is dedicated to exploring music with young people through educational concerts and work with youth orchestras.
During his tenure at the La Porte County Symphony, he is credited with significantly raising the orchestra’s artistic level and spearheading collaborations with other non-profit organizations. Since his arrival in 1994, the audience has more than doubled in size and the budget expanded three-fold. As a result, orchestra personnel has grown to encompass an expanding geographical area. Moreover, the orchestra now attracts guest artists of national and international acclaim.
December 2015 marked Mr. Bauman’s inaugural performance as the Music Director of the Michigan City Messiah. Maestro Bauman was selected to carry on the traditional faithfully conducted by Dan McNabb for 50 years. The 51st season opened a new era in the community’s celebration of this grand and popular tradition.
Through his work with Chicago Opera Theater, The Opera Factory, Light Opera Works, da Corneto Opera, Harbor Country Opera, Opera at the Acorn and the Jarvis Conservatory, Mr. Bauman has gained a reputation as a highly respected conductor of the stage. His 1993 performances of Four Saints in Three Acts with Chicago Opera Theater were unanimously praised by the press. John Von Rhein, music critic of the Chicago Tribune said of his performances, “Philip J. Bauman drew a clean, buoyant and lively reading from the 21- piece orchestra, coordinating stage and pit very well. The final scenes in fact were very moving.”
Mr. Bauman made his podium debut with Chicago Opera Theater in 1989, when as assistant conductor, he led the season’s final performance of Romeo and Juliet on five minutes’ notice. Since that dramatic and successful debut, he has had a ten-year association with the company and has conducted highly acclaimed performances of Where the Wild Things Are, Carousel, Count Ory, La Traviata, A Waterbird Talk and The Medium with Metropolitan Opera star Mignon Dunn. In 1994, Mr. Bauman once again stepped in on short notice, this time with the Elgin Symphony for the ailing Margaret Hillis; Bauman conducted a subscription concert to much acclaim.
In 2013 the pinnacle of the da Corneto Opera company was Bauman’s exhilarating concert performance of Nabucco. Mr. Bauman has conducted Adios a la Bohemia, Bohemios, La Purpura de la Rosa and two productions of Manuel de Falla’s La Vida Breve for The Opera Factory, Desert Song and Princess Ida for Light Opera Works, and Attila, Don Carlo, Lucrezia Borgia, Nabucco and Verdi’s Requiem with da Corneto Opera. In Michigan, Bauman has conducted Rigoletto and I Pagliacci for Opera at the Acorn and La Boheme for Harbor Country Opera. He has conducted The Saffron Rose, La Revoltosa, Agua, Azucarillos y Aguardiente, Doña Francisquita, La Alegria de la Huerta and Gigantes y Cabezudos for the Jarvis Conservatory in Napa, California, El Barbero de Sevilla for the Amarillo Opera in Texas and The Opera Factory, in addition to traveling to Idaho to conduct the Boise Opera in productions of Carousel and South Pacific. In the Chicago, Illinois area he has served as music director and conductor of The Opera Factory, the Chicago Brass Choir, the Lake Shore Symphony Orchestra and the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra, and as director of orchestras at Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park.
Mr. Bauman spent 13 years as an associate conductor with the Elgin Symphony where he conducted over 100 performances encompassing subscription, pops and educational concerts. For five seasons he served as assistant conductor of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra appearing on Pops and Classical concerts. He has also conducted the Wheaton Symphony, da Corneto Opera Ensemble, Indiana Opera North, the Downers Grove Oratorio Society, North Shore Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Youth Symphony Orchestra, Suburban Youth Symphony, DuPage Repertory Theater, and Circle Theater of Forest Park. He holds a Master’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting from Northwestern University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Theory from Western Michigan University.
Phil has made the Chicago area his home over 25 years. Now living in the suburbs, he and his wife Lee enjoy shuttling their teenage son to band practice and scouting events. Family activities include biking, walking, motorcycle rides, testing out new grilling recipes or taking road trips that allow them to experience new adventures. Their home is overflowing with original paintings created by his wife who is an established artist.