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Chad Goodman


Chad Goodman, who has received widespread praise for his thrilling conducting, is currently in his inaugural season as music director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra—only the fifth leader in the orchestra’s prestigious seven-decade history. He also serves as artistic director of IlluminArts, Miami’s art song and chamber music concert series. In this role, he curates site-specific classical music programs in collaboration with the leading museums, art galleries, and historic venues of Miami. From 2019 to 2023, Goodman was the conducting fellow of the New World Symphony. In addition to leading the orchestra in more than 50 performances, he created the educational program “SPARK: How Composers Find Inspiration,” which blended engaging audience participation with captivating light design and videography. From 2018 to 2023 he served as an assistant conductor to the San Francisco Symphony, working alongside Michael Tilson Thomas, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Manfred Honeck, Daniel Harding, Pablo Heras-Casado, Simone Young and James Gaffigan, among others. He has recently made debuts with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de Puebla (OSEP).

As founder and artistic director of Elevate Ensemble, Goodman’s ambitious vision for concert programming resulted in the pairing of music from Bay Area composers with underappreciated gems of the 20th and 21st centuries. Under his leadership, Elevate Ensemble established a composer in residence program and commissioned 15 new works. Goodman also leads workshops that teach young musicians the business skills needed to successfully navigate the music world. Forbes praised the conductor’s bold strides both on and off stage and hailed him as “An entrepreneur bringing innovation to classical music.” Last year, he published the book You Earned a Music Degree. Now What? He holds a bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School of Music and a master of music degree from San Francisco State University. His mentors include Michael Tilson Thomas and Alasdair Neale.