Meet Maestro Sergey Bogza

Sergey Bogza, described as “a charismatic conductor whose passion radiates from the podium” (The Virginian-Pilot), is known for his unique approach to working with orchestras and engaging audiences on and off the podium. In his third year as the Music Director of the Panama City Symphony, he leads masterworks and holiday concerts, curates a monthly chamber music series, and serves as the Director of Music Education. In 2024, he was named the Music Director and Conductor of the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and has made his professional debut with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and the Alabama Ballet. Bogza has previously held Music Director roles with orchestras such as the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, Willmar Symphony, and Heartland Symphony Orchestra.

Equally comfortable leading productions of opera, ballet, and concert repertoire, Bogza’s energy and artistic integrity are highly regarded by audiences and musicians alike. He has been awarded top prizes at international conducting competitions and is an active composer of symphonic and chamber music. Combining the roles of a conductor and a composer, the premieres of his works are enthusiastically received by audiences and musical ensembles across the United States and Europe.

As a guest conductor, Bogza cultivates a burgeoning international presence that has brought him engagements in the USA and Europe with orchestras, ballet companies, and festivals.  He has guest conducted musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra, Virginia Beach Symphony, Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra, Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra, Auburn Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra, and Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra.  Bogza also served as an assistant conductor for Joffrey Ballet’s 100-year anniversary production of The Rite of Spring, and the University of Minnesota’s Benjamin Britten’s Peace Project, which combined the musical talents of students from North America and Germany, culminating in the critically acclaimed performances of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem in the USA and abroad.  For three consecutive summers, he was selected to conduct public concerts of the B-Minor Mass, St. Matthew Passion, and the Christmas Oratorio at the Oregon Bach Festival.  

Bogza is responsible for a number of successful collaborations and is regarded for his sensitive approach.  In 2017, he engaged an award-winning choreographer, Roger Van Fleteren, to present an abridged version of Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet and the fruitful relationship led to future projects with The Alabama Ballet.  That same year, Bogza conducted two sold-out performances of The Moscow Ballet’s The Great Russian Nutcracker, a production that included the company’s professional dancers, 120 community dancers, and a local children’s chorus.  In 2018, in collaboration with Millikin University’s School of Theatre and Dance, Bogza led three sold-out performances of The Phantom of the Opera and productions of Pirates of Penzance, Menotti’s The Medium, and Barber’s A Hand of Bridge.  At the University of Minnesota, he led the workshop premiere of two operas, Sister Carrie and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, by Grammy-winning composer Robert Aldridge and assisted with productions of Così fan tutte, Falstaff, and Bartered Bride, among others.

Off the podium, Bogza is an endurance athlete who regularly competes in ultra-marathons and long-distance bike rides. Having won gold medals and finished over a dozen races, his future aspirations include competing for The Triple Crown and Badwater 135. Bogza trains with his two Belgian Malinois dogs, Samson and Stella, and is an avid chef of Slavic cuisine.

Bogza was born in Russia into a Russian-Ukrainian family and emigrated to the United States in 1995. He has earned a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from Central Washington University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Minnesota.