Compelling interpretations, inventive performances and an energetic stage presence are the hallmarks of American conductor Antoine T. Clark. The founding Artistic and Music Director of The McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra in Ohio, now in its ninth season, Mr. Clark was named Assistant Conductor of West Virginia’s Wheeling Symphony Orchestra this fall 2021. A passionate advocate of arts education, this November he was named Cincinnati Symphony’s 2022 MAC Music Innovator. The program, which highlights leading African American classical musicians who embody artistry, innovation and commitment to education and community engagement, will see Clark leading chamber music and orchestral performances in schools and throughout the community during his residency.
Highlights of the 2021-2022 season include Mr. Clark’s conducting debut with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, and leading the Philharmonia NOYO (Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra) and the OWU Chamber Orchestra, in addition to his duties with Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, The McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra and the MAC Music Innovator program. Summer 2021 highlights included guesting with Virginia’s Richmond Symphony.
Guest appearances include the Chamber Orchestra of New York, the Colour of Music Festival Chamber Orchestra, and engagements at the Gateways Music Festival. Recent performance highlights include Mr. Clark's 2021 debut with the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Richmond Symphony (VA). For his work leading the premiere of Joel Thompson's "breathe/burn: an elegy" for cello and orchestra, the Chicago Tribune praised "Clark led from the podium with balletic poise." With McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra, he led a collaboration with musicians from the Columbus Jazz Orchestra in a concert tribute to John Coltrane. A staunch supporter of DEI, Mr. Clark also participated in Chicago Sinfonietta's 15th Annual Diversity Reception, and the 2021 Youth Orchestras Online DEI panel, a collaboration between Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, and the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestras.
With a focus on building strong relationships in communities, Mr. Clark creates bold programs that often include innovative collaborations with artists from various artistic disciplines. A passionate supporter of new music, Mr. Clark regularly commissions works for the symphonic and chamber music canon. Among the composers with which he has worked are Mark Lomax III, Jacob Reed, Matthew Saunders, Michael Rene Torres, Christopher Weait, and Tony Zilincik.
Committed to inspiring and nurturing the next generation of musicians, Mr. Clark has taught students ranging from young beginners to college music majors. He is currently the conductor and music director of the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra – Philharmonia Orchestra and music director of the Ohio Wesleyan University Chamber Orchestra, and has served as the assistant conductor at the Gateways Music Festival in association with the Eastman School of Music since 2017.
Prior post includes serving as assistant conductor of the Chicago Sinfonietta, cover conductor with the Lancaster Festival Orchestra, music director of the Ohio Northern University Symphony, music director of the Ohio Northern University Wind Orchestra, music director of the Wayne State College Orchestra, assistant conductor of The Ohio State University Orchestra, and artistic and music director of the Capital City Chamber Players.
Antoine T. Clark holds a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in clarinet performance from The Ohio State University. He also holds a Master of Music degree in clarinet performance from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. A winner in the 2017 International Conductor's Workshop and Competition, he has participated in the Cabrillo Contemporary Festival of Music, the Monteux School and Music Festival, the New York Conducting Workshop, the Smoky Mountain International Conducting Institute, and as a Project Inclusion Conducting Freeman Fellow with the Chicago Sinfonietta. Among his mentors are conductors Mei-Ann Chen, Michael Morgan, Markand Thakar, Michael Jinbo, and Marshall Haddock.