Kermit Poling
conductor
  • Biography
  • Discography
  • Reviews
  • Itinerary
  • Media
Neal Gittleman

Currently leading his 28th season as Music Director of the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, KERMIT POLING is consistently hailed as an inspiring, passionate presence in American music. The classical music magazine Fanfare wrote, “The Romantic spirit lives, breathes and flourishes in Kermit Poling”, remarking on his “quite natural musicianship” and a “Schubertian gift for melody.”

Kermit Poling conducts internationally, while his compositions are also performed throughout the world. He has led concerts with the Orchestra Regionale Filarmonia Veneta, Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Guanajuato and Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, among many others. In 2017, Mr. Poling conducted his debut recording with the London Symphony Orchestra for an album of his compositions on the Centaur label. Fanfare welcomed the release as “a fabulous disc, splendidly recorded and executed.”

Kermit Poling’s compositions have excited audiences everywhere. His Symphony #1 “Shreveport Symphony” was premiered by Michael Butterman and the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra in 2016. Within the Orb of Glories Wearing, his first string quartet, received its international television debut in 2017 on the EWTN cable network. Ballet companies throughout the United States, including Ballet Des Moines, the University of Hartford, Ballet Oklahoma, Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet and The Pennsylvania Ballet have commissioned and performed his works: The Beautiful Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Fairy Rhymes, Peter Pan, Prince Charming, Snow White. His scores to the silent films Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Caligari, Tarzan of the Apes and for the documentary Tarzan: Lord of the Louisiana Jungle won accolades throughout the country. January, 2023 will hear the premiere of a guitar concerto, featuring Lily Afshar, while a large work for chorus and orchestra will be premiered by the Shreveport Summer Music Festival in the fall of 2023.

Kermit Poling studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music and The Tanglewood Music Center, where he worked with Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Masur, Gustav Meier and Seiji Ozawa. He is the winner of the Silver Medal from the 2019 International Global Music Awards, a 2000 Outstanding Artist in Music Fellowship from the State of Louisiana and two music fellowships from the Shreveport Regional Arts Council. In 2012, Mr. Poling received a career advancement award from the State of Louisiana.

A featured conductor on NPR’s Performance Today, Arkansas Educational Television Network, Red River Radio Network and Boston’s WGBH, Kermit Poling has also been seen and heard as a violinist on Louisiana Public Television and PBS, in addition to numerous television and radio stations throughout the United States.

Passionately devoted to musical education, Kermit Poling has served on the faculty of Centenary College, Texarkana Community College, Boston Conservatory and Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music. He has also been an artist in residence and taught masterclasses at the University of Delaware, Kilgore College and Stephen F. Austin State University.

Off the podium, Kermit Poling serves as Choirmaster and Organist at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Bossier City, Louisiana and is the General Manager and well-known classical music voice of Red River Radio (KDAQ Public Radio).

www.kermitpoling.com

Strauss / Stravinsky

Poling: Concierto De Chiaro (Guitar Concerto #1)

soloist: Giovanni De Chiaro

Poling: Along These Footsteps to Paradise (Suite for Strings #2)

Kermit Poling/London Symphony Orchestra

 

CENTAUR: CRC3594

Poling led the orchestra in a polished performance. He proved himself to be an intelligent, knowledgeable leader on the podium and the orchestra played superbly.

THE SHREVEPORT JOURNAL

The orchestra responded well to Poling’s instructions and urgings. The same enthusiasm percolated through the performance of the Prokofiev [Symphony #1].

SHREVEPORT TIMES

There is some fine music making going on outside of Little Rock. Kermit Poling set good tempos and dynamics and the orchestral balance were particularly good. The finale was brass heaven.

ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

Symphony puts a rousing end to the season [headline]
The Shreveport Symphony couldn’t have planned a better ending to its season. You not only got passionate Russian composers, but two pianists of the gold medal variety. For a bonus, resident conductor and concertmaster, Kermit Poling, and the orchestra outdid themselves on a stunning concert that was satisfying and thrilling.

FORUM MAGAZINE

With Kermit Poling conducting, Judas Maccabaeus shivered through moments of grief and exulted in celebrations of victory.

SHREVEPORT TIMES

Poling’s directing style is dynamic and graceful. It was a rousing performance.

EL DORADO NEWS-TIMES (Louisiana)

When one of the world’s great orchestral organizations, the London Symphony Orchestra in this case, takes up the works by a contemporary composer, a certain imprimatur of worthiness and importance is conferred upon that composer and his or her music. I think you will find in these works [Poling Guitar Concerto #1; Suite #2 for Strings] by Kermit Poling some of the most gorgeous sounds ever to caress your ears and touch your heart. As a performing violinist with many years of orchestral experience, Poling really knows his way around the orchestra. His scoring, particularly in the guitar concerto is both brilliant and breathtaking; and his unerring sense for melodic and harmonic ideation would be the envy of any number of composers past and present.

FANFARE (Jerry Dubins)

Poling is very much his own man as a composer. His music has the stamp of an individual talent and sensitivity. It is extremely likable music, to which the term neo-romantic may be applied. The performances [Poling Guitar Concerto #1; Suite #2 for Strings] are authoritative and the sound engineering is excellent. Kermit Poling is a musician it is very difficult not to like. He definitely ia an American composer to reckon with. Highly recommended.

FANFARE (David Saemann)

6/5/2022 (3pm)

SHREVEPORT SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL (LA)

Church of the Holy Cross

Holst: Brook Green Suite
Poulenc: Organ Concerto
soloist: Ken Cowan
Dvorák: Serenade for Strings

6/12/2022 (2&6pm)

SOUTH ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

El Dorado Municipal Auditorium

Poling: Snow White
with Arkansas Festival Ballet

6/25/2022 (6pm)

MARSHALL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (TX)

Marshall Courthouse (outdoors)

children’s concert

7/4/2022 (7:30pm)

ORCHESTRA INDIANA

Yorktown Sports Park (outdoors)

4th of July Concert: “Patriotic Pops”

8/20/2022 (7:30pm)

ORCHESTRA INDIANA

Cornerstone Center for the Arts (Muncie)

Holst: Brook Green Suite
Poling: Guitar Concerto #1
soloist Giovanni De Chiaro
Joplin: rags

9/10/2022 (7pm)

SOUTH ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

El Dorado Municipal Auditorium

Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherazade
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
soloist: Cal Alexander

9/17/2022 (7pm)

MARSHALL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (TX)

East Texas Baptist University Auditorium

Dvorák: Symphony #6
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto #2
soloist: Crystal Jiang

10/21/2022 (7pm)

ORCHESTRA INDIANA

Cornerstone Center for the Arts (Muncie)

Poling: Nosferatu (with silent film)

10/29/2022 (7pm)

SOUTH ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

CSouth Arkansas Arts Center (El Dorado)

Poling: Nosferatu (with silent film)
with West Edge String Quartet

11/5/2022 (7pm)

MARSHALL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (TX)

Memorial City Hall Performance Center

“Going for Baroque”

11/6/2022 (3pm)

MARSHALL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (TX)

Cumberland Presbyterian Church (Jefferson)

“Going for Baroque”

12/3/2022 (7pm)

SOUTH ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

El Dorado Municipal Auditorium

“Christmas Pops”

12/10/2022 (6:30pm)
12/11/2022 (3pm)

SHREVEPORT METROPOLITAN BALLET (LA)

RiverView Theater

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker

12/18/2022(7:30pm)

MONROE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (LA)

Monroe Civic Center

“Holiday Pops”

1/21/2023 (7pm)

SOUTH ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

El Dorado Municipal Auditorium

Poling: Guitar Concerto #2 (world premiere)
soloist: Lily Afshar
Stravinsky: Pulcinella (suite)
Rota: Sonata for Chamber Orchestra

2/16/2023 (7pm)

MARSHALL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (TX)

East Texas Baptist University Auditorium

“Black History Month Concert

2/25/2023 (7pm)

SOUTH ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

El Dorado Municipal Auditorium

“Black History Month Concert

3/18/2023 (7pm)

SOUTH ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

El Dorado Municipal Auditorium

“Hollywood Pops”

3/25/2023 (7:30pm)

SHREVEPORT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (LA)

RiverView Theater

“Tribute to Nate King Cole”

4/1/2023 (6:30pm)
4/2/2022 (3pm)

SHREVEPORT METROPOLITAN BALLET (LA)

RiverView Theater

Poling: Snow White

4/15/2023 (7pm)

MARSHALL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (TX)

East Texas Baptist University Auditorium

“Hollywood Pops”

4/28/2023 (7pm)

SOUTH ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

El Dorado Municipal Auditorium

Beethoven: Symphony #2
Abels: Global Warming
concerto winner, tba

5/15/2023 (7pm)

MARSHALL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (TX)

Marshall Courthouse (outdoors)

B“Rock/Country Pops”

6/4/2023 (3pm)

SHREVEPORT SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL (LA)

Church of the Holy Cross

6/24/2023 (6pm)

MARSHALL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (TX)

El Dorado Courthouse (outdoors)

“Patriotic Pops”

8/26/2023 (7pm)

SOUTH ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

El Dorado Municipal Auditorium

B“Patriotic Pops”

12/9/2023 (6:30pm)
12/8/2023 (3pm)

SHREVEPORT METROPOLITAN BALLET (LA)

RiverView Theater

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker

Tchaikovsky: Sleeping Beauty (Suite; opening excerpt)
Marshall Symphony Orchestra (TX)
September 18, 2021

Stravinsky: L’Histoire du soldat
members of the Monroe Symphony Orchestra (LA)
March 21, 2021

Puccini: Madama Butterfly (“Tu, tu, piccolo Iddio!”)
Eleni Calenos, soprano
Shreveport Opera
April, 2019