Stephen Czarkowski is in demand as a conductor, cellist and educator in the Washington, D.C. area and nationally. He is in his tenth season as Music Director and Conductor of the Apollo Orchestra, and has collaborated with artists from the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, New York Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestra. He has led the Apollo Orchestra in performances at the Kennedy Center for the past four years. He is currently in his sixth year as Assistant Conductor of the York Symphony Orchestra. This past Summer he was the Resident Conductor of the Luzerne Music Center Orchestra and will return in 2020 (Fourth year). Mr. Czarkowski is also Director of Strings at the Norwood School, Conductor of The Symphonette at Landon School, and Music Director and Conductor of the Frederick Regional Youth Orchestra (Eighth year).
He led The National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. as a debut conductor, in conjunction with being selected for the 2003 National Conducting Institute directed by Music Director Leonard Slatkin. Other guest conducting appearances include the Honolulu Symphony, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Prince George’s Philharmonic, Symphony of the Potomac, Washington Sinfonietta and the Friday Morning Music Club Orchestra. In October 2014, he conducted the Richmond Symphony as part of the Conductors Guild Workshop. In the summer of 2016, Mr. Czarkowski was the guest conductor for the Luzerne Music Center Orchestra in a special Gala Concert.
Mr. Czarkowski has been honored to work with internationally esteemed soloists, including soprano Harolyn Blackwell, harpist Nancy Allen, violinist Cho-Liang Lin, trumpet Chris Gekker, trombonist Chris Brubeck, guitarist Ana Vidovic, violist Roberto Diaz and cellist Jerry Grossman, Steven Honigberg and Carter Brey.
An avid educator, Mr. Czarkowski joined the Norwood School in Bethesda, Maryland as Director of Strings. Last year his groups placed 1st in the County and State Adjudications. In addition, they were the only middle school ensemble to be invited to perform at the Library of Congress and will returned in December 2019. Currently on the conducting and cello faculty of Landon School, his students have won numerous local and statewide competitions, and hold principal chairs in area orchestras. During the summer he teaches at Landon Summer, Frederick Regional Youth Orchestra camps and in early July will teach in Italy at the InterHarmony Music Festival 2020.
Mr. Czarkowski is also an active cellist. In the fall of 2013, he was the soloist with the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra, performing Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major, and in January 2014 performed the Bach Cello Suites at St. James Catholic Church in Charles Town, West Virginia. He has also performed as a Special Guest Artist with the Library of Congress Chorale, and serves as Principal Cellist of the Summer Dinner Theater Orchestra at Montgomery College. In 2015-2016, he performed for Pope Francis and President Obama. Recently he performed for Vice President Pence and Mayor Rudy Guiliani. Mr. Czarkowski is a member of Tryos Ensemble and Trio Illumino with Neil Brown, trumpet and Virginia Lum, piano. Along with Mr. Brown he has started a concert series at Faith United Methodist Church that is currently in its third year performing several concerts a year.
Mr. Czarkowski graduated from The Catholic University of America with a Graduate Artist Diploma in Orchestral Conducting, after receiving a full scholarship and teaching assistantship. He graduated from Mannes College with a Master of Music in cello (under Barbara Stein Mallow) and conducting (under David Hayes and Samuel Wong). Mr. Czarkowski also received his Bachelor of Music degree from Mannes College under the tutelage of Carter Brey, principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic. He is a member of the Conductor’s Guild and is currently serving on the New School Alumni Association Board of Directors.