Music Director

Our Orchestra

Music Director

Norman Gamboa

Norman Gamboa was born and raised in Costa Rica. A versatile conductor, he is equally at home with opera, ballet, chamber, and symphonic orchestral repertoire. He was appointed Music Director of the Sonoma County Philharmonic in 2012.

“I’m very excited to be taking over direction of the orchestra as we move to the Jackson Theater and reach out to a broader audience,” says Maestro Gamboa. “Community orchestras play a vital role in making classical music available to people who might not otherwise have an opportunity to experience it. And this orchestra is one of the best all-volunteer orchestras in the country.”

Mr. Gamboa has appeared as guest conductor with symphonies in Texas, Kansas, Wyoming, Minnesota, Nevada and California, as well as with orchestras around the world, including the Orchestra Filarmonica di Stato Ploiesti (Romania), Západoceský Symfonický Orchestr (Czech Republic), Orquesta Filarmónica de Medellín (Colombia), and Orquesta Nacional de Nicaragua, Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado Mérida and Orquesta Sinfónica de Los Llanos (Venezuela), to name a few.


Throughout his career, he has championed the works of up-and-coming composers, including world-premieres by Kyle Kindred, Evelyn Stroobach and Robert Bradshaw, as well as renowned living composers from Latin America and Spain such as Benjamín Gutiérrez and Eddie Mora. He has conducted a wide variety of innovative collaborations, including a newly choreographed production of Ravel’s Ma mère l’Oye with Ballet Midwest and numerous outstanding fully-staged operas with the Topeka Opera Society. Festival appearances include FOSJA-Casals Festival of Puerto Rico, Central American Festival of Chamber Music, International Music Festival of Medellín (Colombia), Villarrica Music Festival (Chile), the International Festival of Arts of Costa Rica, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Bregenzer Festspiele (Austria), the Las Vegas Music Festival, OSESP-International Orchestra Conductors Competition, ITEC-Regina Music Festival in Canada and the New York Brass Conference.

“I’m interested in programming works that some listeners may not be familiar with–encouraging people to discover new pieces and new composers,” says Maestro Gamboa. “But with this fine orchestra, we also have the chance to offer fresh and compelling interpretations of some of the greatest masterworks in the repertoire.”

Maestro Gamboa has served as Associate Conductor of the Las Vegas Music Festival, Assistant Conductor of the Waco Symphony and Music Director of the Waco Symphony Youth Orchestra. In addition to leading the Sonoma County Philharmonic, he is Music Director of the Aurora Symphony Orchestra in Colorado.