Andrew M. Kurtz
Gulf Coast Symphony founder Dr. Andrew M. Kurtz enters his twenty-eighth season as the Symphony’s President & CEO/ Music Director and conductor. His deep rooted commitment to new work, community and education, combined with a vibrant artistic vision has led to creating and nurturing one of the most dynamic arts organizations in the region.
As stage director Kurtz has staged multiple production, including productions of the musical comedy I Do, I Do, which opened the Music & Arts Community Center and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.
He was named the 2007 Performing Artist of the Year at Lee County’s Angel of the Arts Awards. Kurtz’s repertoire encompasses a wide range of music styles from baroque to contemporary, and multiple genres including symphonic, opera, ballet, musical theater, jazz, cantorial, and symphonic pops.
Kurtz was the international tour conductor for CANTORS: A Faith In Song, featuring three of the world’s leading cantors, and is currently the tour conductor for the NEW YORK CANTORS and TRINITY: CLASSICALLY IRISH, which debuted on PBS in Feburary 2022. He served as the Music Director of the Florida Jewish Philharmonic Orchestra and as Producing Artistic Director of Synergy Productions, a professional musical theater company in Southwest Florida.
Kurtz is a past-president of the board of the Lee County Alliance for the Arts. An avid arts educator, Maestro Kurtz was Resident Music Director at the Luzerne Music Center. In 2001, he won First Prize in the Dell’Arte di Firenze International Conducting Competition, and made his European conducting debut in Florence. In 1995, Kurtz made his international operatic debut in Tel Aviv while working as a staff conductor at the Israel Vocal Arts Institute. In 1997, he conducted the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s educational tour production of The Best of Puccini. He was a scholarship conducting student at the prestigious Aspen Music Festival, and boasts numerous other conducting credits, including the Pennsylvania Opera Theater, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Charlotte Symphony, Gonzaga Symphony, and the Ocean City Pops.
Kurtz completed his doctoral studies in conducting at the Peabody Conservatory and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Virginia where he received his master’s degree in music history and a bachelor of arts in music and drama. His theater concentration was in stage directing and play-writing. A native of Philadelphia, Kurtz has called Southwest Florida home for more than 30 years, where he currently resides with his wife, Julie, and their son, Benjamin.