Rachael Worby

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Rachael Worby
Born 1950 (age 66–67)
Nyack, New York
Nationality American
Occupation Artistic Director of MUSE/IQUE
Known for Conductor - one of the first women

Rachael Worby is an American conductor who was the First Lady of West Virginia. She rose to fame during her 17-year tenure as Music Director and Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra in Wheeling, West Virginia, which concluded in 2003.[1] Rachael Worby is known in the orchestral community for her wide range of repertoire, exuberant style, talent and versatile command of musical genres.

She is currently the Artistic Director and Conductor of MUSE/IQUE in Pasadena, California and the Music Director and Conductor of the American Music Festival in Romania. One of the first woman conductors in the country, Worby also was the Music Director and Conductor of the Young Peoples Program at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Most recently, she was the Music Director and Conductor for the Pasadena POPS.

As a guest conductor, she has led orchestras throughout Europe, South America, Australia and Asia. In 2006, at the invitation of American soprano, Jessye Norman, Ms. Worby conducted both the China Philharmonic Orchestra in Beijing and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra accompanying Ms. Norman in her first appearances in mainland China. The musical relationship between Ms. Norman and Ms. Worby continues to flourish. They appear together at music festivals and concert halls throughout the world.

During her tenure as Music Director of the Pasadena Pops from 2000-2010, Rachael Worby increased the number of yearly concerts played, and audience attendance, and instituted free-to-the-public concerts on the steps of Pasadena City Hall. She expanded outreach programs to underserved communities, securing significant ongoing funding for programs in South Central Los Angeles and in Pasadena.

In 2009 at the request of the Festival’s curator, Jessye Norman, Ms. Worby served on the Honorary Committee of Carnegie Hall’s HONOR! Festival for which she served as artistic advisor for numerous events and served as guest panelist. She has been honored with many awards including the Spirit of Achievement from Albert Einstein College and the Women of Excellence award from the YWCA, the degree Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa from Marshall University, the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa from Claremont University and the Presidential Medal of Honor for her consummate lifetime achievements from Claremont University.

Rachael Worby received a Presidential appointment to the National Council of the Arts, on which she served for four years. In 1990, she was nominated for an ACE Award for two young peoples’ orchestra programs she created, narrated and conducted for the Disney Channel.

The ex-wife of former Governor of West Virginia Gaston Caperton, Worby served as First Lady of West Virginia from 1990 to 1997. While serving as First Lady, Worby frequently traveled around West Virginia to promote the arts and music to state residents. She created the Governor's School for the Arts, a project she remains involved with, and pushed the Legislature for increased funding for arts education. She also took the Wheeling Symphony on statewide tours and she hosted a meeting of the National Governors Association in Charleston. She hosted a television program on West Virginia public television focusing on arts and current affairs. She and Caperton divorced in 1998.[2]

Education: Private conducting studies with Otto Werner-Mueller; Private conducting studies with Max Rudolf; Private conducting studies with Jacques-Louis Monod; Brandeis University; doctoral course work in musicology (ABD), Indiana University; graduate course work in musicology and conducting; Crane School of Music, SUNY-Potsdam; Bachelor of Music in piano performance; Sarasota Choral Institute

Professional Affiliations: Judge: Korean International Music Foundation, Celebrity Judge: Spotlight Awards, Los Angeles County Music Center, Honorary Member: Music Director and Conductor of Special Events - ‘Transylvania’ State Philharmonic, Member, Super Panel for Grammys in the Schools, Board of Visitors, Claremont Graduate School’s Center for the Humanities, Mentor, The Institute for Educational Advancement (targeting gifted and talented students across the USA), Board of Visitors, Walnut Hill School, West Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts (founded by Ms. Worby in 1994). Member, National Council on the Arts. Member, Avery Fisher Artist Program Recommendation Board., Member, University Board of Trustees, West Virginia. Member, McDonald’s Foundation Board of Directors, Member, Very Special Arts Festival Board. Panelist, National Endowment for the Arts’ Challenge III. Panelist, National Endowment for the Arts’ Orchestra Panel, Lecturer, Boston Symphony Orchestra pre-concert Lecture Series, Director, Chopin Commemorative Year (Boston), Consultant, Public Broadcasting Systems (PBS)

Grants, Awards and Honors, Golden Crown Award - Pasadena Arts Council; PAL Golden Badge Award - Pasadena Police Activity League; Diploma of Excellence - Cluj County Council; Rachael Worby Scholarship (annual) - Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, Named in her honor; Women of Excellence Award 2003 - Pasadena-foothill Valley, CA YWCA; Presidential Medal of Honor - Claremont University; The Rachael Worby Conductor’s Podium - Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, Endowed in her honor; Spirit of Achievement Award - Albert Einstein College; Honorary Doctorate - Marshall University; Honorary Doctorate - Claremont University Center and Graduate School; West Virginia Public Theatre’s Lifetime Achievement Award; Nominee - ACE Award for Disney Channel television programs; EXXON/Arts Endowment Assistantship;Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund Grant.

Television Credits National Coverage: 2001/2002/2005 Tournament of Roses Parade, Bayer Advanced Garden - “Cocktail Garden Party” Float; National Coverage: 2004 Tournament of Roses Parade, Odd Fellows and Rebekahs -“Songs of Spring” Float; National Coverage: Interview with Tom Brokaw, NBC News, “Is the California Dream Still Alive?”; PBS, The Charlie Rose Show; ABC, Day One; PBS, Carnegie Hall at 100: A Place of Dreams; Disney Channel, Disney’s Young Person’s Guide to Music: A Toon for a Toon; The Best Band in the Land

Conducting Positions Music Director and Conductor, The Pasadena POPS Orchestra, Music Director and Conductor, American Music Festival (in Cluj, Romania), Laureate Conductor, Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, Music Director and Conductor, Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, Music Director and Conductor, Young People’s Concerts at Carnegie Hall, Assistant Conductor, Los Angeles Philharmonic Youth Concerts, EXXON/Arts Endowment Conducting Assistant, Spokane Symphony Orchestra, Music Director, New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director, Little Orchestra of Cambridge

North American Guest Conducting Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Carmel Symphony Orchestra, Chappaqua Symphony Orchestra, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Fresno Philharmonic, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Lake Charles Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Marian Symphony Orchestra, Mid-Atlantic Chamber Orchestra, New York City Ballet, New Amsterdam (NY) Symphony Orchestra, Norwalk Symphony, Ojai Festival, Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Pasadena POPS Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Rapides Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Brass Ensemble, San Diego Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Sun Valley Festival, Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Utah Symphony Orchestra, Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, Westchester (NY) Symphony Orchestra

International Guest Conducting Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Barcelona Opera Orchestra, Beijing Symphony, Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Israel Opera Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, National Romanian Opera Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia, Norddeutscher Rundfunk-Hannover, Orquesta Sinfonica de Medellin, Queensland Symphony (Australia), Seoul Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony, Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Transylvania Philharmonic

International Festivals: American Music Festival (Cluj, Romania) - (founded by Ms. Worby in 1998), Festival Masada, Fez, Morocco Festival, Macedonia Summer Festival, Mozart Festival (Cluj, Romania)


  1. ^ http://www.wvgazette.com/Life/201012301154
  2. ^ "West Virginia's First Ladies," West Virginia Division of Culture and History, June 2007.

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Dee Caperton
First Lady of West Virginia
1990 – 1997
Succeeded by
Hovah Hall Underwood