Praised for his versatility, technical clarity, and keen musical insight, Tito Muñoz is internationally recognized as one of the most gifted conductors on the podium today. Now in his fourth season as Music Director of the Phoenix Symphony, Mr. Muñoz previously served as Music Director of the Opéra National de Lorraine and the Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy in France. Prior appointments include Assistant Conductor positions with the Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the Aspen Music Festival.
Mr. Muñoz has appeared with many of the most prominent orchestras in North America, including those of Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee, as well as the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the National Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Muñoz also maintains a strong international conducting presence, including recent engagements with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, SWR Sinfonieorchester, Deutsche
Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken, Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille, Sao Paolo State Symphony, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Danish National Chamber Orchestra, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Opéra de Rennes, Auckland Philharmonia, and Sydney Symphony.
As a proponent of new music, Mr. Muñoz champions the composers of our time through expanded programming, commissions, premieres, and recordings. He has conducted important premieres of works by Christopher Cerrone, Kenneth Fuchs, Dai Fujikura, Michael Hersch, Adam Schoenberg, and Mauricio Sotelo. During his tenure as Music Director of the Opéra National de Lorraine, Mr. Muñoz led the critically-acclaimed staged premiere of Gerald Barry’s opera The Importance of Being Earnest. A frequent advocate of the music of Michael Hersch, Mr. Muñoz led the world premiere of Hersch’s monodrama On the Threshold of Winter at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2014, followed by the premiere of his Violin Concerto with Patricia Kopatchinskaja and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in 2015. Mr. Muñoz recently led the International Contemporary Ensemble and Kopatchinskaja in a recording of Hersch’s Violin Concerto, and, in June 2018, he will again collaborate with Kopatchinskaja and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, performing the music of Michael Hersch at the Ojai and Aldeburgh Festivals.
Mr. Muñoz’s relationship with the Cleveland Orchestra since his tenure as Assistant Conductor has been consistently critically-acclaimed, most notably in 2012 when he was engaged to replace the late Pierre Boulez for subscription performances. Mr. Muñoz led joint performances with the Joffrey Ballet and the Cleveland Orchestra in the summer of 2009, marking the first collaboration between these two organizations in three decades. This successful partnership led to further performances in the summer of 2010 as well as an invitation to tour with the Joffrey Ballet in the 2010-11 season. In the 2012-13 season, he conducted the Cleveland Orchestra’s first complete performances of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, a program he repeated in 2014-15, and, in summer 2013, led the orchestra’s first staged performances of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in the reconstructed original choreography of Vaslav Nijinsky, both with the Joffrey Ballet.
A passionate educator, Mr. Muñoz regularly visits North America’s top conservatories/universities, summer music festivals, and youth orchestras. He has led performances at the Aspen Music Festival, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University, Kent/Blossom Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, New England Conservatory, New World Symphony, Oberlin Conservatory, Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, University of Texas at Austin, and National Repertory Orchestra, as well as a nine-city tour with the St. Olaf College Orchestra. He maintains a close relationship with the Kinhaven Music School, which he attended as a young musician, and now guest conducts there annually. Mr. Muñoz also enjoys a regular partnership with Arizona State University where he has held a faculty position and is a frequent guest teacher and conductor.
Born in Queens, New York, Mr. Muñoz began his musical training as a violinist in New York City public schools. He attended the LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts, the Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program, and the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division. He furthered his training at Queens College (CUNY) as a violin student of Daniel Phillips. Mr. Muñoz received conducting training at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen where he studied with David Zinman and Murry Sidlin. He is the winner of the Aspen Music Festival’s 2005 Robert J. Harth Conductor Prize and the 2006 Aspen Conducting Prize, returning to Aspen as the festival’s Assistant Conductor in the summer of 2007, and later as a guest conductor. Mr. Muñoz made his professional conducting debut in 2006 with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, invited by Leonard Slatkin as a participant of the National Conducting Institute. That same year, he made his Cleveland Orchestra debut at the Blossom Music Festival. He was awarded the 2009 Mendelssohn Scholarship sponsored by Kurt Masur and the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Foundation in Leipzig, and was a prizewinner in the 2010 Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition in Frankfurt.