Paul Schrage, Conducting Apprentice


Paul Schrage, BCCO Apprentice Conductor

An accomplished pianist, Paul Schrage has performed in recital, with orchestras, and in jazz settings across the United States and in Europe, Brazil, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has performed in such diverse venues as the INSAP Festival in Chicago, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the main square in Warsaw, Casa Huey Barbosa in Rio de Janeiro, and with the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste of Kinshasa. Equally at home in the classical and improvisational realms, he frequently performs half classical, half jazz recitals. Artists he has performed with include harpsichordist Jory Vinikour; conductors David Ramadanoff, Armand Diangienda, and Elena Sharkova; trombonist and composer Bobby Brookmeyer; drummers Louis Bellson and Steve Smith; guitarist Gary Wittner; and dramatic tenor John Tsotsoros. Paul has strong relationships with living composers, and has performed world premieres of works by Ingrid Stozel, Rubin Zahra, and Paul Davies, among others. He was the pianist-in-residence of the Contemporary American Music Project, where he frequently collaborated with musical theorist and historian Cameron Logan.

Paul’s first solo album featured the music of Mozart, Liszt, and Copland, as well as original compositions and jazz selections. With the jazz trio the Sideways Trio, he released In Defense of Our Dreams, alongside drummer Jeff Hanson and bassist Doug Pohorski. That album features arrangements of rock songs, classical works, and original compositions. He also recorded the world premiere recording of Richard White’s Sonata for Flute.

An emerging conductor, Paul is the music director of Symphonia Caritas. Symphonia Caritas is a professional orchestra that partners with other nonprofits to provide benefit concerts. He is also cover conductor of the Merced Symphony. Prior to Symphonia Caritas, Paul was music director of the St. Peters’ Chamber Orchestra, and he has guest conducted several San Francisco Bay Area orchestras. His primary conducting teachers are George Cleve and Martin West, and he has also studied at the summer programs of the Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Canford School in England.

Paul has served on the faculty of Vandercook College of Music, Foothill College, and the International Summer Jazz Academy. He studied piano at the Kansas City Conservatory with Ruth Anne Rich and at the Hartt School with Luis de Moura Castro. He was a finalist at the International Young Artist Piano Competition and was a Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellow.