Music Director
Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale, TX

Irish conductor Brendan Townsend has been celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic for his "rare abilities", "refined technique," "incredible, raw energy" and "deep musicianship." 

Currently serving as the Music Director of the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorale he has held previous directorships with the Bryan Symphony Orchestra (Cookeville, TN), the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, Ars Antiqua et Nova (Netherlands) and Sinfonietta Geleen (Netherlands). In Europe he has appeared with the Dutch Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sofia Symphony Orchestra, CSM SYmphony Orchestra, Broadway Dusseldorf, Opera Comique Maastrcht, Opera Zuid and the Transylvaian State Symphony, to name but a few. Since moving to the United States he has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Charleston, Knoxville, San Antonio, Topeka, Mississippi, Corpus Christi and Kingsville, and in recent years has been a regular guest conductor with the Filarmonica Nacionale de Honduras.

Brendan Townsend and the Laredo Phil have been recognized by the League of American Orchestras for their commitment to the performance of music by living composers, and in 2007 received the ASCAP Award for Innovative Programming.

A native of Cork, Ireland, Brendan Townsend studied cello at the Cork School of Music. He continued his studies at the Conservatorium voor Muziek with Mirel Iancovici (cello) and Jan Stulen (conducting). He has also studied with Ilya Musin and Yuri Termikanov at the Academia Chigiana in Siena (Italy) and with Sir Edward Downes as part of the Kondrashin Conducting Masterclasses.

In recent years Brendan Townsend has become known as a proponent of American composers. He passionately believes in bringing works by living composers into the standard repertoire. He has not only performed works by some of the biggest names in composition - Christopher Rousse, John Adams, Behzad Ranjbaran, Roberto Sierra - but advcates also on behalf of self-publishing composers such as Lee Actor, Linda Robbins Coleman, Linda Tutas Haugen, and many others.

A passionate educator, he has been a frequent clinican across the southern states including Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana. As a cellist, he partners regularly with pianist Fritz Gechter, and performs with the Laredo International Piano Trio.

Mr. Townsend is married to his college sweetheart, Angeline, and together they are the proud "parents" of a Golden Retriever / Labrador mix, Toby!