Ralph William Zeitlin has had a varied professional career as conductor, composer, instrumentalist and teacher. He began his musical studies at age 7 with the clarinet; at 10 he studied the violin and at 12 the French horn.
The Juilliard School of Music Preparatory Division awarded him a scholarship to study the French horn and musical composition. While a scholarship student at Yale University School of Music Mr. Zeitlin played horn for both professional and community orchestras such as the New Haven Symphony, Bridgeport Symphony, Waterbury Symphony and the Hartford Opera Company.
For over forty years, Ralph Zeitlin has been involved with community and professional orchestras, both as conductor and as instrumentalist. After Yale, he became principal conductor of the La Puma Opera Company, a position he held for 30 years conducting over 40 operas. He was also named associate conductor of the 92nd Street “Y” Symphonic Workshop.
Mr. Zeitlin successfully debuted at Town Hall in New York in 1978, directing members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He was invited to Colombia as the permanent conductor of a Symphonic Wind Ensemble in 1981. He also guest conducted the Antioquia Symphony in Medellin and conducted members of the Cali Symphony in several recording sessions. In 1982, the Bogota Philharmonic, one of the outstanding professional orchestras in South America, made Mr. Zeitlin associate conductor.
The Putnam Symphony, a community orchestra based in Carmel, New York, invited Mr. Zeitlin to guest conduct a concert in June, 1994, and a few weeks later he directed the Danbury Festival Orchestra. In Danbury, Mr. Zeitlin was co-founder and Musical Director of the Nutmeg Opera and Theatre Company where, to date, five fully staged operas with orchestra have been performed with favorable critical acclaim.
Mr. Zeitlin is now in his fifth season as conductor and musical director of the
Chorus 802 which is under the aegis of the American Federation of Musicians. Last Spring, the Chorus 802, under Mr. Zeitlin’s direction, gave a concert version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado” and on May 21st of this year will present “The Gondoliers”
Mr. Zeitlin has also received considerable acclaim as a recorder soloist.
He was one of the original members of the New York Pro Musica Renaissance Wind Band under Noah Greenberg, and in 1962, was the only recorder player to be sponsored by the Young Concert Artists Management. He received rave reviews from his debut performance at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1971. During the concert seasons of 1972, 1974 & 1980, he was invited by Sir Georg Solti to solo with the Chicago Symphony. In fact Sir George stated “I want Zeitlin or nobody,” and called Ralph Zeitlin a “fine musician