Associate Conductor, Utah Symphony / Principal Conductor, Deer Valley® Music Festival
Conner Gray Covington
Currently in his Fourth season as Associate Conductor with the Utah Symphony, Conner Gray Covington also serves as the Principal Conductor of the Deer Valley® Music Festival, the summer home of the Utah Symphony. Last season, Covington conducted two subscription programs with the Utah Symphony and made his subscription debut by stepping in on short notice for a program of Andrew Norman and Gershwin. During his tenure in Utah so far, Covington has already conducted nearly 250 performances of classical, education, film, pops, and family concerts as well as tours throughout the state. Previously, he was a Conducting Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he worked closely with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, with whom he made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2016, and the Curtis Opera Theater while also being mentored by Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. A four-time recipient of a Career Assistance Award from the Solti Foundation U.S., Covington was a featured conductor in the 2016 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview presented by the League of American Orchestras.
Highlights of recent seasons include appearances with the symphonies of St. Louis, Utah, Kansas City, Nashville, Virginia, Portland (ME), Monterey (CA), and the Oregon Mozart Players. In the 2020-2021 season, Covington will make debuts with the Reno Chamber Orchestra and the Omaha Symphony. He has served as a cover conductor for the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and The Florentine Opera Company (Milwaukee, WI).
Born in Louisiana, Covington grew up in East Tennessee and began playing the violin at age 11. He went on to study violin with Dr. Martha Walvoord and conducting with Dr. Clifton Evans at the University of Texas at Arlington where he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in violin performance. He continued his studies with Neil Varon at the Eastman School of Music where he earned a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting and was awarded the Walter Hagen Conducting Prize.