Jacobs School alum named interim director of orchestra and opera at Northern Illinois University

Alumnus Danko Drusko has been appointed interim director of orchestra and opera at Northern Illinois University (NIU).

This fall, Drusko joined the faculty at NIU to direct the Philharmonic and Opera Theatre as well as teach conducting. In this capacity, he will lead five concerts and Mozart’s opera The Abduction from the Seraglio. Drusko will work closely with NIU’s faculty and students for a number of professional and community collaborations. The Philharmonic kicks off its semester with two concerts in the fall featuring works by Beethoven, Sibelius, Dvorak, Mozart, Schubert, and Brahms, all of which will be live-streamed.

Born to Croatian parents in Germany, Drusko came to the U.S. as a recipient of the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship and won the first and only prize in conducting by the Culture Foundation of Lake Constance in Germany. He was also awarded the prestigious Friedrichshafen City Art Award (Kulturförderpreis). Drusko has conducted orchestras such as Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Frankfurt Opera, Royal Opera Belgium, Budapest Operetta, Metropolitan Orchestra Lisbon, Rochester Philharmonic and YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, LA Phil).

He is founder and music director of Hoosier Philharmonic in Bloomington and led the orchestra and choir of 250 musicians in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 for its inaugural concert. While at IU, he was associate instructor of the Opera and Ballet Theater and studied conducting under Arthur Fagen and David Effron.

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