Artistic Leadership

Petko Dimitrov

Petko Dimitrov is in his ninth season serving as Music Director of the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra.  Dimitrov also serves as Assistant Conductor of the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of Symphony in C in Camden, New Jersey, and Cover Conductor of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra.  In the 2007/08 season, Dimitrov was awarded a Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Fellowship which recognizes accomplished young conductors and provides them with a monetary award to further develop their career.   Mr. Dimitrov has also been selected twice among the finalists of the George Solti International Conducting Competition.

In performances with WCYO, Dimitrov had his debut at Carnegie Hall in 2007 and Avery Fisher Hall in 2008.  In the spring of 2007, Mr. Dimitrov led the orchestra on tour in Austria and performed in concert venues such as Haydnsaal in Eisenstadt and Schlossberg in Graz.  In July 2009, Maestro Dimitrov was appointed the conductor of Excalibur – The Celtic Rock Opera, which toured major cities in Germany in 2010-2011.   In July of 2012, 2013 and 2014, Mr. Dimitrov was invited by Curtis Summerfest to be Conductor of the Young Artist Summer Program.  Additionally, in 2013, Dimitrov was appointed as Music Director of the New Symphony Orchestra in Sofia, Bulgaria and was also engaged as Conductor and Music Director of Cavallo Classico – a major entertainment project launched in Munich, Germany.

In 2004, Mr Dimitrov completed his Master Degree in Orchestra Conducting at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, under the direction of Prof. Kenneth Kiesler.  In 2006, he completed his studies with Prof. Gustav Meier at the Peabody Conservatory, John Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, where he pursued a Graduate Performance Diploma in Orchestral Conducting.

Petko Dimitrov’s website

Justin Elkins is in his third year as the Conductor of the WCYO String Ensemble.  Justin, a Wyoming native, began playing the cello in the fourth grade. He completed his junior and senior years of high school at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, and then went on to complete his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in cello performance at the renowned Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York where he studied with distinguished professor of cello Alan Harris. Following graduation, Justin has had an active musical career. In addition to his performances in the Elkins Duo with his wife Marija, a pianist, he has also served as cellist of the North Dakota String Quartet and performed solo concertos with the Cloud Peak Symphony of Wyoming and the Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra of North Dakota. Justin is currently a regular performer in the Norwalk Symphony, and has also performed with the Greater Bridgeport Symphony. Justin is also a devoted music educator. He served on the faculty of the Talent Education Suzuki School in Norwalk, CT where he was head of the cello department and also taught extensively through the K.E.Y.S. (Kids Empowered By Your Support) program, a non-profit organization that sends professional musicians and teachers into Bridgeport Public Schools to teach students one on one and in groups during the school day. The Elkins Duo has also performed in numerous house concerts throughout the area to raise money to help fund the K.E.Y.S. program. Justin is currently the Orchestra Director at Trumbull High School, where he also teaches music theory.

Justin Elkins’ website

The 2014/15 season marks Albert Montecalvo’s fifth year as the Conductor of the WCYO Wind Ensemble. Al retired from the Carmel, New York School District in 1998 where he taught for thirty years.  At Carmel, he was director of middle and high school bands as well as K-12 Director of Music.  Al has performed as percussionist with many local orchestras including the Ridgefield Symphony, Chappaqua Orchestra and Danbury Symphony, and has played drums and percussion with various theater groups including the Downtown Cabaret Theater, Seven Angels Theater, Musicals at Richter and TheaterWorks in New Milford.  He also performs with the Sonny Carroll Big Band, the Norm Hathaway Orchestra and the Berkshire Big Band.

Al was an adjunct music professor at Western Connecticut State University for five years where he taught music education courses, supervised student teachers and conducted the WCSU Symphonic Band.  He has also been the Director of the Summer Band Program for the Danbury Music Centre for the past eleven years and has conducted the musicals at Ridgefield High School for the past ten years.

Past Conductors

Jonathan Schiffman

Ridgefield Symphony Youth Orchestra (now WCYO Symphony Orchestra) – 2003

Ankush Kumar Bahl

Ridgefield Symphony Youth Orchestra (now WCYO Symphony Orchestra) – 2003-2006

Suzanne Corey-Sahlin

Ridgefield Symphony Junior Orchestra & WCYO String Ensemble – 2005-2012