Principal Guest Conductor
Maestro Stephen Czarkowski is in demand as a conductor, cellist and educator in the Washington, D.C. area and nationally. Starting with the 2022-23 season Mr. Czarkowski has been named Music Director and Conductor of the Central Pennsylvania Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor of the Newark Symphony Orchestra. He is in his eleventh season as Conductor of the Apollo Orchestra, and has collaborated with artists from the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, New York Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestra (NSO). He has led the Apollo Orchestra in performances at the Kennedy Center for the past several years. He led the National Symphony Orchestra as part of its National Conducting Institute under Leonard Slatkin and has guest conducted the Honolulu, Viriginia Symphony Orchestras, and Symphony of the Potomac, among others. For the past eight years Mr. Czarkowski served as assistant conductor of the York Symphony where he conducted education and several subscription concerts with Music Director Lawrence Golan. As a ‘cellist Mr. Czarkowski performs as soloist and member of the Tryos Ensemble with trumpeter Neil Brown.Mr. Czarkowski graduated from the Catholic University of America with a Graduate Artist Diploma in Orchestral Conducting receiving a full scholarship and teaching assistantship. He also holds a Masters’ Degree in ‘cello performance and conducting, and Bachelor’s Degree in ‘cello from Mannes College under the tutelage of Carter Brey, principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic. He is a member of the International Conductor’s Guild Board of Directors, New School Alumni Board of Directors and Paper Bag Mask Foundation Board of Directors. As music educator, Mr. Czarkowski leads the Frederick Regional Youth Orchestra, Symphonette at Landon School, and orchestras at the Norwood School and Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School. His ensembles have performed at the Library of Congress, Hershey Park Music Showcase Festival and Orlando Music Festival. Recently he has given masterclasses at West Point Military Academy, Catholic University of America, Howard County Schools and Loudon County Schools. For more information please visit stephenczarkowski.com
Conductor Brian Cox was born in Berlin, Germany, and has resided in the state of Delaware most of his life. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Delaware in tuba performance, and studied conducting and composition at Temple University.
Catherine Soukup (Katie) is excited to be part of the NSO choir’s return this season (22-23). She recently retired after 30 years as music educator, first at Mt. Pleasant HS, and then at Kennett HS, teaching choir, music theory, piano, and theatre productions. Katie holds BS and MM degrees in Music Education from West Chester University. Her experiences as a singer have taken her to Carnegie Hall with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers, and to England for the King’s Singers Summer School. Katie performs locally as an accompanist and trumpeter for churches, schools, and theatre groups. Her latest musical endeavor is the bagpipes.