About Us

The Staff

Co-Director Bahman Saless

Bahman Saless started his dual career as composer and physicist during his teen years in England. After obtaining his A-level and O-level certificates in music, mathematics and physics, Dr. Saless immigrated to the United States in 1977. He received his BS in Physics from Michigan State University, in 1981 while studying violin at the same time. He then pursued a career as a physicist, obtaining his Doctorate in theoretical physics from the University of Colorado in 1987. During his graduate study, Dr. Saless was a member of Boulder Philharmonic orchestra and founder of The Principia Quartet in Boulder. In 1989, after having served as physics lecturer at the Colorado school of mines and a research scientist for NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Dr. Saless moved to Los Angeles to continue his dual ambitions by working as a physicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and enrolling in film scoring studies at UCLA. In 1990, Dr. Saless’ Guitar Trio, Mexican Moonlight, won the Pacific Composer’s Forum composition Competition. After completing his studies at UCLA in 1991, Dr. Saless worked as a composer of film trailers and teasers with Universal Studios as well as other Hollywood production houses. His works include trailer music for films such as Carlito’s Way, Romeo is Bleeding, and Beethoven 2nd. Having spent years away from his beloved Colorado, Dr. Saless and his wife moved back to Boulder in 1994.

In 2004, Dr. Saless founded the Boulder Chamber Orchestra where he is music director, and in 2010 he co-founded the International Conducting Institute in order to help further the art of conducting.

Co-Director Silas Nathaniel Huff

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Silas Nathaniel Huff has conducted outstanding orchestral, choral, opera, ballet, and new music performances for more than a dozen years. In the United States Maestro Huff has conducted youth, university, and professional ensembles in California, Indiana, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Internationally, he has conducted in France, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Russia. Maestro Huff is currently the acting music directorship of the Astoria Symphony Orchestra (NYC) and Commander of the U.S. Army School of Music (Virginia Beach). Past positions include director of the U.S. Army Orchestra (DC), music director of the Round Rock Symphony (TX), Moscow Ballet USA tours conductor, and Associate Producer of Opera at the Manhattan School of Music. In 2010, he co-founded the International Conducting Institute to help student conductors and further the art of conducting.

A native Texan, Maestro Huff studied classical guitar at Texas State University,  theory, composition, and conducting at University of Californian – Los Angeles, and orchestral conducting at California State University in Long Beach. Maestro Huff studied conducting with Donal Neuen and Richard Rontoul, before moving to Europe where he studied conducting at the Trossingen Hochschule for Musik (southwest Germany) and L’Institut Musical Provence-Aubagne (Aix-en-Provence, France). Maestro Huff has attended dozens of workshops led by some of the world’s finest maestros, including Maestros Kirk Trevor, Donald Schleicher, Gustav Meier, Markand Thakar, Michael Tilson Thomas, Carl St. Clair, Jorge Mester, JoAnn Falletta, Diane Wittry, Mariusz Smolij, Rossen Milanov, Harold Farberman, and others.

Maestro Huff loves traveling, espresso, bicycling, photography, and his novelist wife Taylor Morris.

Overview of ICI

International Conducting Institute (ICI) was founded in 2010 by Silas Huff and Bahman Saless, who had developed much of their conducting careers through various workshops around the globe. While there are a variety of conducting workshops around the world, ICI’s mission is to provide the highest quality of instruction necessary to develop students to their desirable careers, whatever that may be. Our workshops include baton technique, score study, historical interpretations and discussions, rehearsal techniques, career development advice, as well as customized classes in Alexander Technique, Yoga, port de bras, and more which are designed with the conductor in mind.

ICI employs a variety of in-demand, highly qualified, and proven conducting teachers. Offering conducting masterclasses in every season, ICI can be your single source for gaining high level and diverse conducting knowledge throughout the year – students can learn a variety of techniques from different masters.

International Conducting Institute offers one-week masterclasses in New York City with the Astoria Symphony Orchestra, Austin (TX) with the Round Rock Symphony and in Boulder (CO) with the Boulder Chamber Orchestra. ICI’s grand masterclass is held in Czech Republic every summer and lasts over two weeks. This workshops is designed to include large-scale repertoire as well as other unique selections not offered anywhere else.

History of ICI

In 1991, Dr. Harry Hurwitz, an amateur musician and conductor himself, founded Symphonic Workshops and the International Workshop for Conductors (IWC) with Artistic Director Maestro Kirk Trevor in order to offer musicians opportunities to gain experience working with full orchestras. Symphonic Workshops was born in partnership with the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra in Zlin, Czech Republic, and since then, Symphonic Workshops worked with Czech orchestras in Zlin, Kromeriz, Olomouc, Opava, Karlovy Vary, Marianske Lazne, Hradec Kralove, Teplice, and Brno, among others, as well as with orchestras in Slovakia, Romania, Russia, and Bulgaria. IWC proved wildly popular, and for 20 years, Symphonic Workshops provided performance and development opportunities to thousands of musicians from around the world in partnership with professional orchestras and world-renowned faculty. Many participants have become professional conductors at universities, conservatories, and professional orchestras around the world.

The 20th Annual International Workshop for Conductors in 2010 was slated to be the last, but two participants – Maestros Bahman Saless and Silas Huff – wanted to see the workshop continue for many years. They founded the International Conducting Institute (ICI), under which the International Workshop for Conductors will continue to take place in the Czech Republic. In addition to the 2-week summer workshop in the Czech Republic, ICI plans workshops in Boulder (CO), New York City, Austin (TX), and other locations.

The goal of ICI is to advance the art of conducting by providing conductor workshops with the highest level of instruction,
the most podium time, and the most affordable tuition possible.