Damon Gupton, Guest Conductor

Guest Conductor for the Symphony’s November 17 & 18, 2018 concerts


A native of Detroit, Michigan, Damon Gupton held the post of assistant conductor of the Kansas City Symphony from 2006 to 2008.  Gupton received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Michigan.  He studied conducting with David Zinman and Murry Sidlin at the Aspen Music Festival and with Leonard Slatkin at the National Conducting Institute in Washington, D.C. He served as American conducting fellow of the Houston Symphony for the 2004-2005 season, and has made conducting appearances with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Detroit Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, The Cincinnati Pops, National Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony, Florida Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, NHK Orchestra of Tokyo, Brass Band of Battle Creek, New York University Steinhardt Orchestra, Vermont Music Festival Orchestra and Sphinx Symphony as part of the 12th annual Sphinx Competition.  He led the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra on a national tour with performances at Carnegie Hall and a well-reviewed recording available at White Pine Music.  He also conducted the finals of the Seventh Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition. He is a winner of the Third International Eduardo Mata Conducting Competition, held in Mexico City.

Awards include the Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize and The Aspen Conducting Prize.  Mr.Gupton is also the inaugural recipient of the Emerging Artist Award from the University of Michigan School of Music and Alumni Society.

An accomplished actor, Gupton graduated from the Drama Division of the Juilliard School in New York. He has had roles in television, film and on stage, including the Broadway production of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning Clybourne Park, the Ovation and LA Drama Critic’s Circle award winning Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Mark Taper Forum), Superior Donuts (The Geffen), Christina Anderson’s Inked Baby (Playwrights Horizons), Meg’s New Friend (The Production Company), Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter (Arena Stage), True History and Real Adventures (The Vineyard Theatre), and The Story (Public Theater).  He also performed the title role of Academy Award-winner Eric Simonson’s Carter’s Way at Kansas City Repertory Theater. Mr. Gupton was featured in the title role in the critically acclaimed Heart of America Shakespeare Festival production of Othello. He received an AUDELCO nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Clybourne Park.

Gupton’s television credits include series regular roles on Black Lightning, Criminal Minds, The Player, The Divide, Prime Suspect, and Deadline as well as guest appearances on Goliath, A&E’s Bates Motel, Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom, Suits, Empire, Rake starring Greg Kinnear, Law & Order, Law & Order Criminal Intent, Conviction, The Unusuals, Third Watch, Hack and Drift.  He appeared in Damien Chazelle’s Academy Award-winning films Whiplash and LaLa Land, as well as This is Forty, The Last Airbender, Helen at Risk, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Unfaithful and The Loretta Claiborne Story.