The conductor for the 21st Century: “Entrepreneurial, creative, and plugged in”, “Innately talented musician and conductor, without frills or ego” – the accolades all indicate the exuberance of artists that have worked with Bahman Saless, the founder of the Boulder Chamber Orchestra. “His enthusiasm is contagious and the results he gets from his players are quite extraordinary”.
Bahman Saless’ musical career can be summarized in one word: Miraculous! After pursuing a variety of seemingly unrelated careers, Mr. Saless, who studied the violin as a teenager and was a member of the Boulder Philharmonic orchestra, founded the Boulder Chamber Orchestra.
The Orchestra, initially conceived as a project to practice conducting with, has now become a staple of world-class performances in Colorado and beyond, gaining national recognition from coast to coast. “Boulder Chamber Orchestra is Superb” says Robin McNeil of Opus Colorado.
Bahman Saless studied the violin as a teen in England, even though music composition was his passion. He studied the violin with Lyman Bodman at Michigan State University while pursuing a career in theoretical Physics. He later founded the Principia String Quartet in his hometown of Boulder, Colorado. After completing his graduate studies, Dr. Saless moved to California working as a physicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory while pursuing a second parallel career as a composer, winning awards in music composition and becoming a successful film composer.
As a composer, Bahman Saless has scored more than a dozen nature documentaries as well as many Hollywood trailers and teasers. Saless’ conducting career took off when he started his studies with some of the great conducting teachers including Kirk Trevor, Donald Schleicher, William LaRou Jones and Tomas Netopil. For the last twelve years, Mr. Saless has been the music director of Boulder Chamber Orchestra but has conducted the Martinu Philharmonic, Astoia Symphony, Timberline Symphony, Zlin Symphony and the Rond Rock Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Saless is also a co-founder of the International Conducting Institute (ICI), which provides frequent workshops for young conductors from all over the world to learn the best practices of conductors and music directors. ICI is dedicated to the advancement of the art of orchestral conducting. From performing three concerts during his first season, Saless is now programming over 17 concerts and events per year, including the tradition in Colorado of the New Year’s Eve concert.
Saless has proven himself to be not only a talented and passionate conductor and composer, but also an organization builder; an artist with creative vision as well as a leader with business savvy and an entrepreneurial mind that can take orchestras to the next level, wherever that might be.