GRANT O'BRIEN is a conductor, composer, and producer of music and musical productions. Currently, Grant is appointed as the Music Director of the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras and is in his 4th year as Artistic Director of Empire Film and Media Ensemble. During his studies at the Eastman School of Music, he worked extensively with conductors Professor Neil Varon, Dr. Oliver Hagen, Dr. Mark Scatterday, Professor Brad Lubman in addition to the Emmy Award winning Mark Watters. As a classically trained artist with a devotion to popular AND contemporary music, Grant continues to display himself as a versatile musician and an inventive concert producer.
Notable past engagements include a masterclass with JoAnn Falletta and sharing the podium with Peter Bay at the Mostly Modern Festival in Saratoga Springs and work as a playback operator for Cineconcerts.
Having studied tuba during his undergrad, Grant has performed with many ensembles including the East End Brass Band and the Eastman Philharmonia. He has toured with the Eastman Wind Ensemble after appearing on their recording of Jeff Tyzik’s Images and premiered Andre Previn's Music for Wind Orchestra (No Strings Attached). In January 2018 he performed Daugherty’s solo for tuba, Reflections on the Mississippi, with the Eastman Wind Orchestra led by Professor Mark Scatterday
Grant has conducted many ensembles in the Rochester area including the Syracuse Society for New Music, New Horizons String and Full Orchestra, Upstate Brass Band, Eastman Tuba Mirum, MO Ensemble and Empire Film and Media Ensemble. He has also conducted in countless degree recitals at the Eastman School of Music in addition to several recording sessions with ensembles ranging from octet to a 50-piece orchestra. Most notably, Grant has conducted recording sessions for the award winning web-series, “Star Trek Continues” and film, “Aquarium” by Stephanie Maxwell.
Grant loves getting involved in every facet of a project from conception to execution. This means:
brainstorming ideas with collaborators
organizing the program
finding the proper donors
booking the venue
recruiting the musicians
designing the marketing plan and marketing material
programming the software and media
writing the scripts
and of course rehearsing and performing
Grant is interested in reshaping modern performance. Because Grant recognizes the important role that concerts play in the lives of communities, he is inspired to create accessible and engaging concert experiences. His project, TERRA, raised funds for a local urban farming center through a benefit performance of pastoral concert pieces all performed with multimedia elements. His other community based accomplishments include producing, conducting and arranging for Songs of the Valiant, a benefit concert for the Wounded Warrior Project and The Flower City Show, a premiere of student and independent films with live orchestral accompaniment.
Grant resides in Jacksonville, Florida. In addition to creating concert performances, Grant records and writes his own music combining his voice, guitar, tuba, piano, and pretty much any instrument that he is brave enough to try. He enjoys arranging pop tunes and remixing them in videos. Grant's also interested in reading as much as possible when he isn't watching the latest David Fincher or Wes Anderson movies.