A native of Detroit, Michigan, Damon Gupton held the post of Assistant Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony from 2006-2008. Gupton received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Michigan. He studied conducting with David Zinman and Murry Sidlin at the Aspen Music Festival and with Leonard Slatkin at the National Conducting Institute in Washington, D.C. He served as American Conducting Fellow of the Houston Symphony for the 2004-2005 season, and has made conducting appearances with the Cleveland Orchestra (as part of a Blossom program with David Zinman), the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, The San Diego Symphony, The San Antonio Symphony, the Princeton Symphony, the Toledo Symphony, the Monte Carlo Philharmonic, the NHK Orchestra of Tokyo, the Orquesta Filarmonica de UNAM, the New York University Orchestras, the Kinhaven Music School Orchestra, The Vermont Music Festival Orchestra, the Brass Band of Battle Creek, The Michigan Youth Arts Festival Honors Orchestra and the SPHINX Symphony as part of the 12th Annual Sphinx Competition. He led the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra on a national tour, culminating in performances at Carnegie Hall and a well-reviewed recording available at White Pine Music. He is a winner of the Third International Eduardo Mata Conducting Competition, held in Mexico City. Musical collaborations include work with Marcus Miller, Kenn Hicks, Kathleen Battle, and Jamie Cullum.
An accomplished actor, Gupton graduated from The Drama Division of the Juilliard School in New York. He has had roles in television, film, and on stage, including the Broadway production of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning Clybourne Park, Superior Donuts (The Geffen), Christina Anderson’s Inked Baby (Playwrights Horizons), Meg’s New Friend (The Production Company), Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter(Arena Stage), True History and Real Adventures (The Vineyard Theatre), and Treason (Perry Street Theatre). He starred opposite Tony award-winner Phylicia Rashad in the world premiere of Tracey Scott Wilson’s The Story at New York’s Public Theater. He also performed the title role of Academy Award-winner Eric Simonson’s Carter’s Way at Kansas City Repertory Theater. Mr. Gupton was featured in title role in the critically acclaimed Heart of America Shakespeare Festival production of Othello. He received an AUDELCO nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Clybourne Park.
Awards include the Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize and The Aspen Conducting Prize. Mr.Gupton is the inaugural recipient of the Emerging Artist Award from the University of Michigan School of Music and Alumni Society. He was named a Presidential Professor by the University of Michigan in January 2009.