Bryan Nies is Assistant Conductor of the Oakland Symphony and Principal Conductor of Festival Opera. From 2004 – 2012, he led Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra, including a tour of Australia and New Zealand during the orchestra’s 40th season. With “superb musical direction,” Bryan conducted sold-out performances of Puccini’s Turandot and Bizet’s Carmen with Festival Opera to rave reviews that stated, “Nies is undeniably a talent to watch.” In addition, he has been a cover conductor for the St. Louis Symphony, conducted performances with Opera Idaho (Barber of Seville, Cosi Fan Tutte), West Bay Opera (La Boheme), and the Oakland Chamber Ensemble. With Eugene Onegin, Bryan Nies made his Opera San Jose debut as principal conductor, after serving as assistant conductor for five company productions between 2003 and 2007: Don Pasquale, Die Zauberflote, The Crucible, UnBallo in Maschera, Manon and Werther and the west coast premiere of Anna Karenina.
Pursuing an avid interest in all musical genres, Mr. Nies has also been an associate music director with American Musical Theater of San Jose, Theatreworks in Palo Alto, and is on the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and San Jose State University.
During the summer of 2002, Mr. Nies was honored with a Leonard Bernstein Fellowship to participate as a conductor at the Tanglewood Music Center. There he conducted performances to rave reviews in the Boston Globe. In addition, he received personal instruction with many leading professional conductors, including Michael Morgan, Roberto Abbado, Jeffery Tate, Hans Vonk, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos and Grant Llewellyn.
A native of Chicago, Mr. Nies also holds a B.M. in Piano Performance and a B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University. He has won numerous piano competitions in the Chicago area including a Gramma Fisher Scholarship to study at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. In addition, he has performed with William Warfield for the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, as their Assistant Conductor. Mr. Nies also served on the staff of Northwestern University’s Theater Department as vocal coach and piano accompanist.