Conductor Michael Morgan died August 20 at Oakland Kaiser. He was 63-years-old.
Morgan, who had been the Music Director of the Oakland Symphony since 1991, had been admitted to the hospital last week for an infection. He had undergone kidney transplant surgery in May and had gone back to work shortly thereafter.
Morgan was born in Washington, D.C. and showed prodigious talents, conducting as early as 12-years-old. He studied at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood and first worked that summer with Leonard Bernstein. His operatic debut took place at the Vienna State Opera and he would go on to lead operas with such companies as the New York City Opera, the St. Louis Opera House, and the Washington National Opera.
In 1986, he was chosen as Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and in that same year Bernstein invited him to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic. In addition to his performances with the Oakland Symphony, Morgan was the conductor of the Oakland Youth Symphony Orchestra, Music Director at Bear Valley Music Festival, and Director Emeritus of the Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera.