Rice’s Shepherd School appoints renowned conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya as distinguished resident director of orchestras and professor of conducting

New faculty leader will serve as designate during 2024-25 school year, assume full responsibilities in 2025-26 season

Miguel Harth-Bedoya
Miguel Barth-Hedoya
Miguel Harth-Bedoya will join Rice's Shepherd School of Music faculty as distinguished resident director of orchestras and professor of conducting (Photo by Michal Novak)

Following an exhaustive international search, the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University is pleased to announce that Emmy Award-winning and Grammy-nominated conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya will join the faculty as distinguished resident director of orchestras and professor of conducting. Beginning his tenure as designate in the 2024-25 school year, Harth-Bedoya will assume full responsibilities overseeing the Shepherd School’s preeminent orchestral programs in the 2025-26 season.

“Under Miguel’s direction, we anticipate an era of transformative orchestral experiences for our students,” said Dean Matthew Loden. “He is the ideal leader, bringing a fresh, collaborative artistic sensibility to the school for students and faculty alike.”

Boasting a decades-long international career, Harth-Bedoya brings a wealth of experience to the Shepherd School. He previously served as chief conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and music director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, where he remains music director laureate. His posts have included leadership positions with the Auckland Philharmonia, Eugene Symphony, Lima Philharmonic and the New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall, and he currently serves as the Mary Franks Thompson Director of Orchestral Studies at Baylor University. This fall, he will make a highly anticipated debut at the Metropolitan Opera, leading Osvaldo Golijov’s acclaimed opera “Ainadamar.”

In his Shepherd School position, Harth-Bedoya will be responsible for curating repertoire, conducting orchestral ensembles, training conductors at the undergraduate and graduate levels and attracting top-tier students. With a fervent commitment to nurturing young artistry and a track record of impactful leadership roles worldwide, Harth-Bedoya brings a unique and internationally recognized artistic vision and pedagogy to the institution.

“I’m thrilled and honored to join the Shepherd School as distinguished resident director of orchestras,” Harth-Bedoya said. “Throughout my career, I’ve championed the development of the next generation of musical talent. The chance to do that at such a renowned institution is truly exciting. Together, we’ll inspire and challenge each other to excel and create unique and transformative opportunities to prepare musicians for the 21st century.”

Houston music lovers will have a chance to see Harth-Bedoya in action with the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra April 25, 2025. This spring performance is one of many that will celebrate the school’s 50th anniversary. Full details of the 2024-25 concert season will be shared this summer.

Harth-Bedoya succeeds Larry Rachleff, who led the Shepherd School orchestras for more than 30 years before his passing in 2022. In the interim, the program has benefited from the leadership of a roster of internationally renowned guest conductors, including Robert Spano, Hans Graf, William Eddins, Lidiya Yankovskaya, Giancarlo Guerrero, Andrew Grams, Patrick Summers and alumnus Cristian Măcelaru.

“The Shepherd School’s appointment of Harth-Bedoya sends a clear message: Rice is not only training musicians; it is shaping the future of orchestral leadership,” Rice Provost Amy Dittmar said.

Click here for more detailed information about Harth-Bedoya and the Shepherd School.