Neil Varon was named Professor of Conducting and Music Director of the Eastman Philharmonia, Eastman School Symphony and Chamber Orchestras in 2002.
Born in New York in 1950, Neil Varon studied piano, composition, and conducting at The Juilliard School. After early stations in Istanbul, Vienna and Nuremberg, he was named first Kapellmeister of the Deutsche Opera am Rhein in Düsseldorf in 1981, and in 1987 he became Music Director of the Philharmonie Südwestfälische. He kept this position until 1991, when he was appointed General Music Director of the City of Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
After completing his second term as General Music Director of Gelsenkirchen in 1996, Varon concentrated on international guest performances for the next several years. In 1996, he performed in Japan and Korea with the Chamber Orchestra of Kanazawa, the orchestra of the Toho Gakuen Academy (Toyama), and the Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra. He also led performances with the Frankfurt Chamber Orchestra in Milan and the Norddeutsche Philharmonie in Rostock.
Varon has conducted at the Hamburg State Opera, Nuremberg Opera, Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Stuttgart Opera, Berlin Staatsoper, and New York City Opera. He directed the German premiere of Un re in ascolto by Luciano Berio in Düsseldorf, and the world premiere of Erinys by Volker David Kirchner in Wuppertal.
Varon was named Professor of Conducting and Music Director of the Eastman Philharmonia, Eastman School Symphony and Chamber Orchestras in 2002. He has also taught conducting master classes in Cologne, Siegen, and Nuremberg.