Nan Washburn, Artistic Director & Principal Conductor
Michigan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and MPYO Flute Choir
Winner of the 2013 American Prize in Conducting, professional division, conductor and music educator, Nan Harrison Washburn is in her 18th season as the dynamic and highly acclaimed Music Director of the Michigan Philharmonic. She is in her seventh year as the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Michigan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the organization she founded in 2003. In addition to her passion for music education for all ages, she brings to MPYO many years of experience conducting youth, university and professional orchestras across the country.
On the teaching front she has been on the faculty of San Francisco State University, The Conductors Institute at Bard College, New England Conservatory Extension Division, Cazadero Music and Arts Center, San Francisco Community Music Center and the East Bay Center for Performing Arts. Some of the many youth and college orchestras she has conducted include the University of Michigan Philharmonia Orchestra, Acalanes High School Chamber Orchestra, California and Colorado All-State Festival Orchestras, San Domenico School Orchestra da Camera along with numerous other middle and high school festival orchestras.
Nan’s past professional music director positions include the West Hollywood Orchestra, Orchestra Sonoma, Camellia Symphony, Channel Islands Symphony and the American Jazz Theater. Her guest conducting includes symphony orchestras of Richmond (VA), Sacramento, Wyoming, Eugene, Berkeley (CA), Marin, Cheyenne, Dubuque, Perrysburg, Firelands (OH), Stockton, Napa Valley and the El Dorado Opera Company in Los Angeles.
Since Nan's arrival in Plymouth in 1999, the Michigan Philharmonic has grown from a community orchestra into a highly respected fully professional ensemble receving 6 ASCAP Awards (she has received a total of 19) and 2nd Place honors in the American Prize Professional Division. Nan expanded the organization further by creating the now 3-tiered Michigan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the MPYO Flute Choir and, most recently, spearheaded the Phiharmonic highly-acclaimed commercial CD for children, Magical Tunes & Marvelous Tales. The Philharmonic education programs also have grown under her leadership. The CLASSical Music outreach program has expanded to include the Wayne-Westland Schools. With the creation of our Instrumentorship Program, hundreds of young instrumentalists have had the opportunity to be coached and to play "side-by-side" with our professional orchestras.
Nan studied flute performance at the prestigious Music Academy of the West, received her Bachelors of Music with Highest Honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her Masters of Music from the New England Conservatory in Boston. She later studied conducting at the Conductors Institute with Harold Farberman and at the Aspen Music Festival.
Hektor Qyteti, Conductor
MPYO Sinfonia and MPYO Strings
As an accomplished professional violinist, Hektor Qyteti is the Principal Second Violin for the Michigan Philharmonic and was the Associate Concertmaster for the prior seven years. He is also the Assistant Concertmaster of the Grosse Pointe Symphony plays in the violin section of numerous other Detroit Metro area orchestras including symphonies in Dearborn, Warren, Rochester and Pontiac. Prior to his moving with his family to the U.S., he had a five-year tenure as Concertmaster of Korce Philharmonia Orchestra in Albania during which time he performed as soloist on the Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and other major concertos.
A dedicated teacher, Hektor maintains a busy schedule teaching violin and chamber music as a private instructor, and he is also on the faculty of Steppingstone School for the Gifted in Farmington, Jerry Luck Studios and Evola Music Center. For 10 years in Albania, he was the Music Director of the Board of Education at the prestigious Korce Tefta Tashko K-12 and High School, essentially the equivalent of magnet/pre-conservatory schools in the U.S.
He received a Performance and Teaching degree from the Academy of Arts in Albania and later continued with advanced studies in teaching at Oakland University.
Jane Libbing, MPYO Manager
A long time resident of Plymouth, Jane has been actively involved in many areas of the community. After receiving degrees from Chatham College and Eastern Michigan University, she taught for 32 years in Northville, Plymouth-Canton and Wayne-Westland. In 2004, the Michigan Philharmonic hired her as their Education Coordinator to administer the CLASSical Music Outreach program in the schools and to manage the Michigan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
Beth Stewart, Executive Director
Beth is in her eighth year as Executive Director of the Michigan Philharmonic. She holds a B.A. in History and an M.S. in Historic Preservation with an emphasis in Educational programming and management. Beth was the Executive Director of the Plymouth Museum for 17 years prior to joining the Philharmonic staff.