While Dale Clevenger's primary occupation has been playing the horn, he has conducted throughout his professional life. Indeed, his first ever musical appearance was as a conductor, of a concert of his kindergarten rhythm ensemble. In a pleasing arc of life's symmetry, he has found himself conducting more often in his mature years.

Dale Clevenger's most recent conducting successes include leading the Orquestra Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon in Strauss and Wagner, with Daniel Barenboim as soloist in Liszt's Piano Concertos No.1 and 2. Following this triumph, he returns to Spain in 2013 to lead the Gran Theatre de Liceu de Barcelona Symphony Orchestra.

This year Clevenger is current contracted to lead the Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, at Italy's Santa Fiora Music Festival and the Marrowstone Music Festival. Watch for updates on his schedule.

Among the various international orchestras he has led are: the New Japan Philharmonic, Osaka Philharmonic, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, West Australia Symphony Orchestra, the National Philharmonic of Slovakia in Bratislava, the Sinfonia Crakovia, Poland's Opole Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Philharmonic, Italy's Grosetto Symphony Orchestra, Maggio Musicale and Florence's Festival Orchestra, and Mexico's Aguascaliente Orchestra. In addition he has conducted the Louisiana Philharmonic, and the Santa Cruz, Florida and Bartlesville Symphony Orchestras, the Toronto Conservatory Orchestra, Chicago's Civic Orchestra, and Roosevelt University Orchestra.

Clevenger was music director of the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra (1980 to 1994). He advanced his knowledge at the American Orchestra League's Conductors Workshops under Richard Lert and Gustav Meier.

His best education came from performing under the batons of the greatest conductors of our age. It would be harder to say who he hasn't learned from. Abbado, Ansermet, Boulez, Barenboim, Bernstein, Guilini, Kertesz, Kleiber, Munch, Muti, Ormandy, Ozawa, Solti, Tennstedt: the list is long.

His conducting style is similar to his musicianship, excelling in legato. "I try to be faithful to the composer," he says. "One takes the score apart, piece by piece, every phrase, until you get to the nugget of the composer's intent. Then it goes back together again in the way I understand the composer wanted. Some, like Mahler, are very specific while others, like Brahms, Mozart and Haydn, are less so. The key is to know exactly what you want and why, from each player, on each instrument."

Many maestros have praised Clevenger's conducting. Kurt Mazur called him a conductor of note and Daniel Barenboim enthused he would recommend Clevenger as a conductor for any orchestra, without reservation.

Conducting repertoire