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Music Directors

Past Music Directors

Adrian Slywotzky

Adrian Slywotzky was the founding conductor of the Yale Medical Symphony Orchestra, and served as Music Director of the New Haven Chamber Orchestra from 2007 to 2010. He holds a Master's degree in Orchestral Conducting from the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Shinik Hahm; he has also studied in master classes with Kenneth Kiesler, Peter Oundjian, and Christoph Campestrini. Following his passion for teaching, Adrian has worked as an educator throughout New England. Since 2005 he has been on the conducting staff of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, where he has recently been named Associate Conductor; and he directed the Greater New Haven Youth Orchestra for the 2008-2010 seasons.

For five years Adrian was Director of Instrumental Music at Hopkins School in New Haven, and he has taught at Neighborhood Music School, Elm City ChamberFest, and the Southern Maine String Camp. As a violinist, Adrian has participated in festivals including Tanglewood Music Center, California Summer Music, and the Norfolk Contemporary Music Festival. Adrian holds a BA in Architecture from Yale College, where he studied violin with Kyung Yu, and an MM in Violin Performance from the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Wendy Sharp.

Robert T. Smith, III
Robert T. Smith, III, served as the Music director of the Yale Medical Symphony Orchestra from 2010-2023. Robert grew up playing viola and composing music in Spartanburg, SC. He was a member of the Spartanburg Symphony Orchestra and musical director for the city’s repertory opera company. Mr. Smith studied music composition with Ladislav Kubik and viola with Dr. Pamela Ryan at Florida State University. He performed with the University Symphony Orchestra, the FSU Opera Orchestra and the Tallahassee Symphony, working with guest conductors Robert Shaw, Robert Spano, and Gunther Schuller. Mr. Smith also composed and performed his original scores for film projects at the FSU film school. Upon receiving his master's degree in music education, he taught for seven years in public and private schools in Atlanta, GA, while also serving as conductor of the Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra. He has guest conducted with the Cheshire Symphony Orchestra and has performed on viola with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra and the New Haven Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Smith is Director of Instrumental Music at Hopkins School in New Haven and the Senior Orchestra conductor at the Southern Maine Strings Camp.

Past Assistant Music Directors

Paul Stelben

Conductor and bassoonist Paul Stelben served as assistant conductor of the YMSO from 2017-2019. As an undergraduate at Yale, Paul majored in music and was a member of the Yale Carillonneurs. He has played with YMSO as a bassoonist, and made his YMSO debut conducting Vaughan Williams’ Wasps Overture

Ken Yanagisawa

Conductor, oboist, and pianist Ken Yanagisawa served as assistant conductor of the YMSO from 2014-2016. As an undergraduate at Yale College, he was an active member of various musical ensembles, performing regularly with the Yale Symphony Orchestra, Berkeley College Orchestra, and Aeolus Wind Quintet, as well as directing Coup de Brass.

His conducting journey began when he was at Juilliard Pre-College, where he took classes with George Stelluto and Adam Glaser. Prior to attending Yale University, he took a gap year to attend the New England Conservatory for one year as an Undergraduate Diploma candidate for Oboe Performance under the tutelage of John Ferrillo. While at NEC, he attended conducting seminars run by William “Bill” Drury and studied privately with Richard Henebry. Since arriving at Yale, he has received masterclasses from Jorma Panula, Kenneth Kiesler, Robert Gutter, Ovidiu Balan, and Charles Gambetta.

Prior to college, Ken primarily studied oboe at the Juilliard Pre-College Division with Richard Dallessio and piano privately with Mitsuko Ichimura. His past teachers include Keisuke Ikume, Andrew Adelson, Linda Strommen, and Jared Hauser. He currently takes piano lessons at the School of Music with Elizabeth Parisot and occasionally commutes to Boston to continue his oboe lessons with John Ferrillo and Amanda Hardy. He has attended numerous summer festivals including Interlochen Arts Camp, Vianden International Music Festival, Liszt Ferenc Music Academy, American Fine Arts Festival, and Northern Lights International Music Festival. He also has won awards on both instruments in various competitions such as the Osaka International Music Competition, New Jersey Music Teachers Association Young Musicians Competition, Music Teachers National Association Senior Woodwinds Competition, American Fine Arts Festival Competition, and the Northern Lights International Music Festival Concerto Competition.

John Masko

John Masko served as assistant conductor of the Yale Medical Symphony from September 2012-April 2014. As a student in Yale College, John also spent a year and a half as music director of the Yale Undergraduate Madrigal Singers and a year as assistant conductor of the Greater New Haven Community Chorus. He music directed and conducted two fully-staged undergraduate operas – Die Fledermaus in the winter of 2014 and The Pirates of Penzance the previous year, and also worked on several productions with the Opera Theater of Yale College. In addition to coaching singers, John sang for two years in the Yale Camerata and Yale Pro Musica.

More recently, John held the position of assistant conductor with the Metrowest Symphony Orchestra in Framingham, MA from September 2014-March 2016. He has studied conducting with Charles Peltz and participated in workshops with Jorma Panula, Benjamin Zander, Donald Schleicher, William Weinert, Robert Gutter, Charles Gambetta, Frank Battisti, and Neil Varon. In a masterclass setting, he has conducted the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bacau, Romania, the Iasi Philharmonic Choir of Iasi, Romania, and the Camerata Antonio Soler of El Escorial, Spain in performance.

He is currently pursuing a masters in orchestral conducting at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studies with Dr. Eric Dudley.