Biographies

Rotem Weinberg

Headshot Rotem

Rotem Weinberg started his conducting studies at the age of 17, under the guidance of Vag Papian. He earned a B.M. in orchestral conducting at the Buchman-Mehta School of Music of Tel-Aviv University, where he studied with Prof. Yoav Talmi. He earned his Master’s degree in orchestral conducting at the University of Michigan. Currently, he is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A) degree at the University of Michigan with Prof. Kenneth Kiesler.

Rotem participated in workshops with world renowned conductors, including Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta, and Zsolt Nagy.

In his native Israel Rotem led many orchestral, band, and vocal ensembles achieving national acclaim as a conductor and educator. He received many honors and awards for his conducting and musicianship, including the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Merit Scholarship in orchestral conducting, and the Tel Aviv University Dean of Arts Excellence Scholarship for his outstanding musical and academic achievements.

Rotem currently serves as the music director for both the Michigan Pops Orchestra and Campus Philharmonia Orchestra at the University of Michigan. This fall he will serve as the cover conductor for the University of Michigan’s production of William Bolcom’s new opera “Dinner at Eight”, assisting Prof. Kathleen Kelly.

Tal Benatar

Tal Benatar is an Israeli-American conductor, arranger and guitarist from Columbus, Ohio. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Michigan, studying with Professor Kenneth Kiesler. He also serves as the Assistant Conductor of the U of M Life Sciences Orchestra.

Tal has made conducting appearances with the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, The Michigan Pops Orchestra, The Charlottesville Symphony, The Charlottesville Opera, The Albemarle Sinfonia and the Oratorio Society of Virginia, with which he served as Assistant Conductor for the 2015-16 season. He was the music director of the Rapidan Orchestra, a community orchestra in Central Virginia focused on bringing Western Art Music to more remote audiences.

As an arranger and orchestrator, Tal has been commissioned by the Michigan Pops Orchestra, the Rapidan Orchestra, the Academical Village People among others. He has experience arranging for a vast array of ensembles including jazz combos, vocal ensembles, as well as chamber and full orchestra. 

As a genre defying musician, Tal has had a range of experiences playing music from the Baroque Era as a continuo player, to Jazz standards on the piano and guitar. A strong advocate of new music, Tal sings with the //meridian vocal ensemble, has conducted a world premiere by University of Michigan composer Aaron Hendrix, has been featured as a guitar soloist with University of Michigan’s Orpheus singers and has performed on electronics with the U of M Contemporary Directions Ensemble and University Symphony Orchestra.

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