Brent Chancellor is the Founding Music Director of LUX, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Rockland Symphony Orchestra, Interim Music Director of the Rutgers University Sinfonia and Music Director of the New Jersey Vocal Arts Collaborative. He is also a cover conductor with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Conductor with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra and Conductor with the prestigious International Vocal Arts Institute. Previous positions include Interim Music Director for the Montclair State University Opera Orchestra, Conducting Assistant with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Conductor to Stéphane Denève, Martin West and Joel Revzen at Festival Napa Valley, and Cover Conductor for concerts featuring André Watts, Leon Fleisher, Robert Levin, Seong-Jin Cho, Angel Blue and Lester Lynch.
In opera, Brent has led numerous productions, and collaborated with many accomplished musicians and young artists from The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, La Scala and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Hailed by Mignon Dunn as “a real singers’ conductor”, from 2008-2012 he served as Assistant Conductor to Paul Nadler on productions including Ariadne auf Naxos, La Traviata, The Rake’s Progress, Don Pasquale and Lucia di Lammermoor, as well as concerts with the Israel Chamber Orchestra in Tel Aviv and l’Orchestre de la Francophonie in Montreal. He has worked with revered stage directors Marc Verzatt, Joshua Major, Dietlinde Turban Maazel, Ira Siff, Jeffrey Gall, Lawrence Edelson and Joachim Schamberger, and in 2018, stepped in last minute to lead highly praised performances of The Rape of Lucretia. Other credits include Tosca, Madame Butterfly, Don Giovanni, La Bohème, Die Zauberflöte, Suor Angelica, Les Nozze di Figaro, L’enfant et les sortilèges and Tamerlano.
A devoted music educator, Brent is rapidly gaining recognition as a unique and imaginative presenter. In 2016 he founded LUX, an orchestra dedicated to creating opportunities for young people to access and connect with symphonic music. Acclaimed performances have included Grammy Award-winning violinist and member of Snarky Puppy, Zach Brock, and fully immersive multi-media concerts in unconventional settings. In 2019, LUX became a partner orchestra with Carnegie Hall Link Up providing in-school concerts with the South Orange Performing Arts Center as part of a district-wide orchestra initiative.
A champion of living and contemporary composers, Brent led the 2015 New Jersey premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s, Licht Bogen, and as a student, his performance of Piano Phase by Steve Reich was praised by the composer as “one of the best performances” he had heard.
A protégé of Paul Nadler (Metropolitan Opera) and Ken Lam (Charleston Symphony Orchestra), Brent holds degrees in composition, piano and conducting. He attended the Hochschule für Musik Trossingen, California State University Sacramento and the John J. Cali School of Music. He has worked with many celebrated musicians in workshops, festivals and coachings, including conductors Cristian Măcelaru, Riccardo Muti, Markand Thakar, Johannes Schlaefli and Ken Kiesler, composers George Crumb, Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros and Aaron J. Kernis, and opera coaches Joan Dornemann, Gerald Martin Moore, Benton Hess and Sherrill Milnes. He has been invited twice to attended the prestigious Cabrillo Festival’s Composer/Conductor Workshop for new music.