Tito Muñoz was born in Queens, New York, and took up violin while a student in New York City public schools. He attended the LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts, the Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program, and the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division. He furthered his violin training at Queens College (CUNY), then attended the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen. He served as Assistant Conductor with the Cleveland Orchestra.
In 2014, Muñoz became the new conductor of the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, and one of my favorite conductors ever. He has a clarity of intention that is a beauty to behold. I say he conducts like a choral conductor, and I mean that in the best possible way. As a vocal person, I’ve often been confounded by the gestures made by orchestral conductors, but I see the clear communication Muñoz conveys to his musicians. Watch the video below to see what I mean:
I am also amazed how often he conducts from memory. He has a large repertoire of pieces that he knows intimately.
One of his priorities is to attract a new, younger audience to symphonic music. For that reason, every season he premieres several new compositions in addition to standard, well-known and popular works.
Tonight, my friend Barb and I are attending a Phoenix Symphony concert. Schumann and Brahms are on the program. I can’t wait!
I recommend you attend a Muñoz concert if you ever get a chance.