Per Brevig brings extensive experience as both performer and conductor to the podium. He has established a reputation internationally as a conductor of remarkable ability and insight. Critical acclaim has earned him a growing reputation as a superb conductor and orchestra builder. Norwegian born, Mr. Brevig received his music education at The Juilliard School and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree. He was the principal trombonist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for 26 years, and has performed as soloist with major orchestras throughout the world. Numerous commissions and premiers are to his credit.
On leaving his position with the Metropolitan Opera, Maestro Brevig's conducting career expanded quickly and in the five years following, he conducted more than 20 operas. A review in The New York Times declared: "Maestro Brevig shaped the performance [of Rigoletto] artfully." In addition to his positions as music director and conductor of Strathmere Festival Orchestra and Grieg Festival Orchestra, he is continuing his teaching affiliations with Aspen Music Festival, Colorado, The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music and New York University.
His conducting repertoire runs the gamut from Renaissance to contemporary music. A staunch advocate of contemporary music, he has commissioned and performed numerous new works both as performer as well as conductor. His repertoire is large and he is flexible in the programming of operatic as well as symphonic works. As music director and conductor for many years with East Texas Symphony Orchestra, he conducted some of the world's most renowned soloists such as Christine Brewer, Eroica Trio, Hilary Hahn, Lynn Harrell, Ralph Kirshbaum, Lang Lang, Cho-Liang Lin, Mark O'Connor, Itzhak Perlman, Pepe Romero, Cedric Tiberghien, Elena Urioste, Haochen Zhang et al. In 2011 he was appointed Music Director and Conductor of Strathmere Festival Orchestra, New York City.
Per Brevig has received many awards, including a Koussevitsky Fellowship, Henry B. Cabot Award, several Naumburg Fellowships, prizewinner of the XIV International Music Competition in Prague and the Neill Humfeld Award for Teaching Excellence from the International Trombone Association, as well as the associations's highest honor, the ITA 2012 Award. The award was presented to him "In recognition of his distinguished career and in acknowledgement of his impact on the world of trombone performance." The award was presented to him at this year's International Trombone Festival in Paris. In 1990, King Olav V of Norway awarded him with the Royal Medal of St. Olav in recognition of his efforts on behalf of Norwegian music and culture in the United States.
Mr. Brevig has studied the medical problems faced by musicians and serves on the Advisory Boards of Medical Problems of Performing Artists and Musikphysiologie und Musik Medizin, a publication from Stuttgart, Germany.
A champion of Scandinavian music, Mr. Brevig is founder and president of the Edvard Grieg Society, Inc. New York. Since 1991, the Society has, under his leadership, produced recitals, chamber performances, radio broadcasts, and symposia at Columbia University and orchestra concerts at Lincoln Center conducted by Per Brevig, all to critical acclaim. The New York Times wrote: "...Orchestra of St. Luke's, conducted by Per Brevig in a compelling concert", "... Brevig was utterly convincing and rewarding". Musical America wrote: "it all added up to a remarkable evening indeed. It was the occasion for much estimable and rewarding music making".