UW Symphony 

  • The UW Symphony Orchestra

David Alexander Rahbee leads the University Symphony in a program of music by Klengel, Mahler, Pärt, and Schubert. With graduate student conductors Daren Weissfisch and Rylan Virnig.

Masks are required in all indoor spaces on the UW campus. Patrons must show proof of vaccination or recent negative provider-administered COVID-19 PCR test for entry to live events at Meany Hall. Individuals unable to be fully vaccinated, including children under age five and people with a medical or religious exemption, must have proof of a negative provider-administered COVID-19 PCR test (taken within 72 hours of the performance). UW staff will check for proof of vaccination and negative COVID PCR tests at the doors as a condition of entry. Proof of negative test result must come from a test provider, a laboratory or a health care provider. Home or self-administered tests will not be accepted. Details of these policies and procedures are at: https://artsevents.washington.edu/covid-protocols 


Program Details

Julius Klengel: Hymnus for 12 celli 
Daren Weissfisch, conductor

Gustav Mahler: What the Wild Flowers Tell Me (reduction by Benjamin Britten) 

Arvo Pärt: Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten 
Rylan Virnig, conductor

Franz Schubert: Symphony, D.944, C major, “The Great”


Conductor Bios

David Alexander Rahbee

David Alexander Rahbee is currently Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, where he is Director of Orchestral Activities and Chair of Orchestral Conducting. He is Music Director and Conductor of the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra and founder of the UW Campus Philharmonia Orchestras. He is a recipient of the American-Austrian Foundation's 2003 Herbert von Karajan Fellowship for Young Conductors, the 2005 International Richard-Wagner-Verband Stipend, a fellowship the Acanthes Centre in Paris (2007), and is first prize winner in conducting from The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts for 2020. His work at UW has earned national recognition. In 2021 he was praised by The American Prize as “Consistently one of the most courageous and comprehensive [orchestral] programmers working in higher education in the U.S. today…”

Dr. Rahbee has appeared in concert with orchestras such as the Seattle Symphony, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Kammerphilharmonie Berlin-Brandenburg, Guernsey Symphony Orchestra, Chattanooga Symphony, National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia, Orchestre de la Francophonie, Orchesterakademie der Bochumer Symphoniker, the Dresden Hochschule orchestra, Grand Harmonie, the Boston New Music Initiative, Seattle Modern Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Loja (Ecuador), Savaria Symphony Orchestra (Hungary), Cool Opera of Norway (members of the Stavanger Symphony), Schönbrunner Schloss Orchester (Vienna), the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, the Kennett Symphony, and the Divertimento Ensemble of Milan. His collaborations with the Seattle Symphony include assistant conductor for the performance and recording of Ives’ Fourth Symphony, and as guest conductor for their Native Lands project and the North American premiere of Páll Ragnar Pallson's Quake with faculty cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir. He has collaborated with several prominent soloists such as Sarah Chang, Jon Kimura Parker, Yekwon Sunwoo, Glenn Dicterow and Jonathan Biss. He has been a guest rehearsal conductor for numerous young orchestras, such as the New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, The Symphony Orchestra of the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music at Chapman University, and the Vienna University of Technology orchestra. He has served on faculty of the Pierre Monteux School as Conducting Associate, has been resident conductor of the Atlantic Music Festival and guest conductor at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival.

Dr. Rahbee was an assistant at the Vienna State opera from 2002-2010. As part of his fellowship and residency at the 2003 Salzburg Festival, Dr. Rahbee was assistant conductor of the International Attergau Institute Orchestra, where he worked with members of the Vienna Philharmonic. He has been selected to actively participate in masterclasses with prominent conductors such as Kurt Masur, Sir Colin Davis, Jorma Panula, Zdeněk Mácal, Peter Eötvös, Zoltán Peskó and Helmut Rilling, and counts Nikolaus Harnoncourt to be among his most influential mentors. From 1997-2001, David Rahbee was founder and conductor of the Fidelio Chamber Orchestra in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Dr. Rahbeeʼs principal conducting teachers were Charles Bruck and Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux School. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin and composition from Indiana University, a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory in orchestral conducting, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Montreal in orchestral conducting.  He has also participated in post-graduate conducting classes at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Vienna. His brass arrangements are published by Warwick Music, and his articles on the music of Mahler have appeared in journals of the International Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft, among others.

In addition to being awarded first prize in conducting from The American Prize for 2020, he was awarded 2nd place in 2019. He has also placed among winners for five consecutive years for The American Prize Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award for Orchestral Programming, recognizing his programming with the UW Symphony and its affiliated ensembles for every season since he joined the faculty. The UWSO has also been a finalist in the category of orchestral performance in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Dr. Rahbee is co-editor of Daniels’ Orchestral Music (6thedition) and Daniels’ Orchestral Music Online (DOMO), the gold standard among conductors, orchestral administrators, orchestra librarians as well as other music professionals and students researching for orchestral programming.

Graduate Student Daren Weissfisch

Daren Weissfisch has conducted professional and student ensembles in the United States, Mexico and Europe for over a decade. From 2013 until 2019 he was the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica Esperanza Azteca Sinaloa, which is an El Sistema based youth orchestra and choir in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico. Daren was guest conductor for the Festival Sinfónico Noroeste in 2018 and 2016 as well as the assistant director for the 2016 production of Charles Gounod’s opera Romeo and Juliet, under Sinaloense conductor Enrique Patrón de Rueda. The same year he collaborated with French guitarist Jean Bruno Dautaner to record the contemporary guitar concerto Tres en Raya by Spanish composer Antonio Ruíz Pipó under the AdLib MusicMX record label. In 2017 Daren conducted the Sinaloa premier of Horizontes, a work by Mexican composer and Juilliard composition professor Samuel Zyman, with the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa de las Artes, and for the 2017 Sinaloa Cultural Festival and 2018 Chamber Music Series, Daren founded the ensemble Sinaloa Players which presented Stravinsky’s masterpiece Histoire du Soldat, with renowned Mexican choreographer Mauricio Nava and the Danza Joven Sinaloa contemporary dance ensemble.

Daren began his conducting studies in the United States with Glen Adist at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music. He has studied with notable conductors including Edward Cumming of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Linus Lerner of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, Donald Schleicher of the University of Illinois, Carlos Spierer of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería in Mexico City, Lior Shambadal of the Berliner Symphoniker, Charles Olivieri-Munroe of the Cracow Philharmonic Orchestra and Gábor Hollerung of the Dohnanyi Orchestra Budafok in Budapest, Hungary. He also spent two summers as a conductor at the Pierre Monteux Festival and School in Hancock, Maine studying with pedagogue and conductor of the Nittany Valley Symphony, Michael Jinbo. Daren is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Washington School of Music under the tutelage of David Alexander Rahbee.

Daren is also an oboist and was the second/assistant principal oboist of the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa de las Artes from 2010-2019 as well as soloist playing oboe concertos by Mozart, Strauss and Bach. He is a substitute player in Seattle with the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra Seattle.

Grad student Ryan Virnig

Rylan Virnig is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting under the direction of Dr. David Alexander Rahbee. A passionate educator, Rylan began his formal conducting studies with Robert Spittal and Timothy Westerhaus at Gonzaga University, where he received degrees in Violin Performance and Economics. In addition to winning the University’s Concerto Competition during his third year, Rylan was awarded the Undergraduate Music Award as well as the Jo Merwin Music Award for outstanding musical accomplishments and contributions. Rylan also served as concertmaster of the Gonzaga Symphony Orchestra, who hosted internationally recognized soloists such as Midori Goto and Lynn Harrell.

In addition to his duties as conductor of the Campus Philharmonia Orchestra and assistant conductor of the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra, Rylan is also the conductor of the Snoqualmie Strings Youth Chamber Orchestra. Rylan has appeared as substitute violinist for the Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra, and Helena Symphony Orchestra, and remains an active instructor of music at various institutions, such as the Community Music Center, and the Chamber Music Camp of Portland. Rylan has also participated in the Pierre Monteux School and Music Festival Orchestra and the InterHarmony International Music festival in Italy.