The 2024-2025 season marks Maestro David Itkin’s 20th season as Music Director and Conductor of the Abilene Philharmonic, and his 16th year serving as Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of North Texas College of Music, where his recent performances have included Mahler Symphony No. 6, the Verdi Requiem, Beethoven Symphony No. 9, Puccini’s Turandot, Verdi’s Otello, and Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen. During the 2018-2019 season he joined the Abilene Opera for a fully staged production of West Side Story, and continues to lead their annual performance of Messiah.


Following a distinguished 17-year tenure, Maestro Itkin was named Conductor Laureate of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in July 2010. Previously Mr. Itkin served as Music Director & Conductor of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Artistic Director and Conductor of the McCall Summerfest in McCall, Idaho, and as Music Director & Conductor of the Lake Forest Symphony (Chicago), the Kingsport Symphony, the Birmingham Opera Theatre, and the Lucius Woods Music Festival (Wisconsin).
During past seasons Maestro Itkin’s career has taken him to 45 U.S. states and 15 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, including concerts and recordings with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Slovenska Filhamonija, the San Diego Symphony, and the Seoul Philharmonic. Other guest conducting appearances include concerts with the Colorado Philharmonic, the Annapolis Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony, the Illinois Symphony, the Delaware Symphony, the New Hampshire Symphony, the Cheyenne Symphony, and the Indianapolis, Baltimore, and Reno Chamber Orchestras. During the Summer of 2006 Maestro Itkin appeared once again with the Slovenska Filharmonija in Ljubljana, Slovenia, conducting the opening concert of the 14th World Saxophone Congress.
Also in demand as a speaker and lecturer, Mr. Itkin has been asked to lecture for a wide variety of organizations, including SilverSea cruise lines, two consecutive years as a featured lecturer for the Arkansas Governor’s School, the Texas Association of Symphony Orchestras, and a keynote address at the National Federation of Music Clubs national conference.




His books, The Conductor’s Craft [2021] and Conducting Concerti [2014], have received wide acclaim. Leonard Slatkin “highly recommended” Conducting Concerti as “a valuable textbook for the aspiring Maestro,” and Samuel Adler wrote of The Conductor’s Craft, “a real breakthrough aid for anyone studying or teaching conducting at any level.”


Mr. Itkin’s first film score (“Sugar Creek”) was recorded in 2006 by the Arkansas Symphony for the film’s 2007 release. “Exodus”, an oratorio, was premiered in April 2005 in Little Rock, with William Shatner narrating.


In May 2009 Maestro Itkin was awarded both an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Lyon College and the Above the Barre award by Ballet Arkansas.