Raymond Chobaz, Professor of Music and Conductor Laureate of the Gainesville Symphony Orchestra, has been music director and conductor of the University of Florida Symphony Orchestra since 1982 and the Gainesville Symphony Orchestra from its inception in 1983 to 2001. He studied at the Basel Conservatory and Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Switzerland, where he obtained a Master of Arts degree summa cum laude in music theory. As an International Rotary Scholar at the University of Utah he received both a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting under Joseph Rosenstock and a Ph.D. in music composition and electronic music under Vladimir Ussachevsky. Further studies allowed him to work with Herbert Blomstedt in San Francisco, Kyrill Kondrashin in Amsterdam, Raphael Kubelik in Lucerne, Erich Leinsdorf in New York City, Witold Rowicki in Vienna, and Georg Tintner in Prague. Additional training in contemporary music interpretation he acquired from Pierre Boulez in Paris and Arthur Weisberg in New York City.
Dr. Chobaz received numerous federal grants, scholarships, awards and first prizes in major national and international competitions in both composition and conducting. As top winner of the International Symphonic Workshop for Conductors in the Czech Republic he was appointed conductor-in-residence of the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic and invited to conduct all major symphony orchestras in the Czech Republic.
Recent productions with UF's Opera Theatre Program include La Bohème, Tosca, La Traviata, Die Zauberflöte, and the world premiere of The Red Silk Thread. Recent ballet productions as Resident Conductor of Dance Alive National Ballet include Bolero, Corroborree, Nights in the Gardens of Spain, The Rite of Spring, Transfigured Night, and Tristan and Isolde.
In between his full schedule as director of the University of Florida Symphony Orchestra, President of the Max Kaempf Institute and Chairman of the Tilly Keiser Arts Foundation in Switzerland, and frequent appearances as a guest conductor, Dr. Chobaz is also closely associated with Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute and Preserve in Sundance, Utah. In 2005, he was elected to the Board of the Swiss Institute for Art Research in Zurich, and in 2012, he was awarded both a Lifetime Achievement and a Distinguished Alumnus Award by the University of Utah. On Research Leave during the academic year 2015-2016, he was invited to work with Nobel Prize Laureate, Prof. Dr. Richard Ernst, at the Swiss Institute of Technology (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, ETH) in Zurich, transferring spectroscopic color analysis to his new composition for large orchestra, The Circle Opens Wide Forever.