Ukrainian-born conductor Maxim Kuzin serves a music director of the University of California Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Choir, as well as Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California. He is a graduate of the Doctor of Music Arts program at UCLA where he studied with Professor Neal Stulberg. Before arriving in the U.S. in 2014, Dr. Kuzin held concurrent positions in Ukraine as Music Director of the Reinhold Glier Kyiv Institute of Music’s Symphony and Chamber orchestras and Head of the Opera Department of Dnipro Glinka Conservatory of Music. He had also served as Music Director for Kryvy Rig Music Theatre and “Ricochet” New Music Ensemble of the National Composer’s Union of Ukraine, and worked as an assistant conductor at the National President’s Orchestra of Ukraine, the Kyiv National Operetta Theatre, and Opera Theatre of Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine.
Dr. Kuzin combines passionate personality with a distinguished track record of professional, artistic, and educational achievements as a symphony and opera conductor. Discovery, interpretation, support of young talents, and performance of rare classical music by famous composers is Dr. Kuzin’s particular area of professional interests. At the same time, challenging established performance formats and creating new ways for audiences to hear and appreciate classical music is what Maestro Kuzin is known for.
Maestro Kuzin conducted concerts and performances with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine, National Symphony Orchestra of Georgia (Tbilisi, Georgia), Vladivostok Philharmonic Orchestra (Russia), National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, UCLA Philharmonia and UCLA Symphony, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Lugansk, Kharkov and Rovno Philharmonic Orchestras of Ukraine, among others. In 2002, Maxim Kuzin was also invited to conduct a choir during the Baha’i International Arts Festival at Carnegie Hall in New York. As a singer and choir member, Maxim Kuzin toured and performed around the world participating in several choral competitions.
Maestro Kuzin’s opera experience includes music direction of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Donizetti’s Il Campanello, Stravinsky’s Mavra and Renard, Walton’s The Bear, The Tragedy of Carmen by Bizet/Constant, Gubarenko’s Monologues, Offenbach’s Monsieur Choufleuri restera chez lui le... Dr. Kuzin also conducted full stage productions of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Lehar’s The Merry Widow, Offenbach’s La Belle Helene, Kalman’s Das Veilchen vom Montmartre (Paris in Spring) and others.
Born in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1976, Maxim Kuzin began his music studies at the age of 7 when he entered the Lysenko Boarding Music School for Gifted Children specializing in choral singing and conducting with a piano minor. Upon graduating with honors, Dr. Kuzin entered choral conducting program of Tchaikovsky National Musical Academy of Ukraine which he also completed with honors. He continued his studies at the National Music Academy’s Opera and Symphony Conducting program under the guidance of Maestro Roman Kofman (Music Director of the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn and Bonn Opera in Germany in 2003-2006). Upon graduation, Maxim Kuzin earned his third honors diploma. His graduation concert with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine included Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, and was performed at the country’s main concert venue of the National Philharmonic Hall of Ukraine.
Dr. Kuzin is a recipient of the “Best Music Direction” prize from the Ukrainian Sicheslavna Festival of Theatres, has received Elaine Krown Klein Fine Arts Scholarship Award (2017-18), and was designated as an “Emerging Artist” by the League of American Orchestra’s Symphony Magazine in 2005.