Russian-born conductor Sergey Bogza is known for his innovative approach working with orchestras and engaging audiences on and off the podium. Equally comfortable leading productions of opera, ballet, and concert repertoire, Bogza’s energy and artistic integrity are highly regarded by audiences and musicians alike. He has been awarded top prizes at notable conducting competitions and is an active composer of symphonic and chamber music. Combining the roles of a conductor and composer, the premieres of his works are enthusiastically received by audiences and ensembles across the United States and Europe.
In March of 2016, Bogza became the Music Director and Conductor of the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, and has since accomplished four consecutive seasons of increased subscription ticket sales, donor engagement, and audience growth. Bogza has been praised for his thoughtful approach to programming, entertaining and engaging pre-concert talks, and is widely credited with fostering the orchestra’s exceptional artistic growth. Previous music director posts include the Mesabi Symphony Orchestra, Willmar Area Symphonic Orchestra, Heartland Symphony, Hyperion Singers, and assistant conductor at the University of Minnesota and Central Washington University.
As a guest conductor, Bogza cultivates an international presence that has brought him engagements in the US and Europe with orchestras, ballet companies, and festivals. He has guest conducted musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra, Virginia Beach Symphony, Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra, and Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra. Bogza also served as an assistant conductor for Joffrey Ballet’s 100-year anniversary production of The Rite of Spring, and the University of Minnesota School of Music’s Britten Peace Project. For three consecutive summers, Bogza was selected to conduct public performances of the B-Minor Mass, St. Matthew Passion, and the Christmas Oratorio at the Oregon Bach Festival (OBF) where he studied with Helmuth Rilling.
Bogza is responsible for a number of successful projects and is distinguished for his sensitive approach to collaborations. In 2017, Bogza engaged an award-winning choreographer Roger Van Fleteren, from The Alabama Ballet to present an abridged version of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Ballet; the fruitful partnership led to future projects including Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty Ballet. That same year, Bogza conducted two sold-out performances of The Moscow Ballet’s The Great Russian Nutcracker, a production that included the company’s professional dancers, 120 community dancers, and a youth chorus. In 2018, in collaboration with Millikin University’s School of Theatre and Dance, Bogza led three sold-out performances of The Phantom of the Opera and repeat productions of Menotti’s The Medium and Barber’s A Hand of Bridge. Bogza’s responsive approach with young artists is regarded for its nurturing quality and professional-level approach.
Bogza is from Taganrog, Russia and emigrated to the US in 1995. He studied piano with Nadia Yuzko and Harry Vier, and composition with Marshall Tuttle while living in Portland, OR. Upon completing his Masters Degree in Conducting from Central Washington University, Bogza moved to Minneapolis to continue his studies with Mark Russell Smith. While a student, Bogza was named the Music Director of the Heartland Symphony and Hyperion Singers. Bogza was awarded a Doctorate Degree in Conducting (summa cum laude) in 2014 from the University of Minnesota.