As founder, music director, and conductor of the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago, Mina Zikri uses his considerable talents to forge relationships with artists and musical organizations throughout the world, all in the name of developing new audiences for classical music. As a violinist and assistant conductor to Daniel Barenboim, he travels with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra on their annual tours to major music festivals and concert halls around the world. He returns each season to his native Egypt to guest-conduct the National Symphony.
At a time when even some of the greatest orchestras in the United States are falling under the immense pressures of financial and cultural uncertainty, Mr. Zikri believes that the future of symphony orchestras can be, should be, and must be different from what everyone seems to expect.
As a member of the faculty of DePaul University Community Music Division, his many career distinctions include being named one of the twelve finalists in the 2007 Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition, where he was chosen from 223 candidates from 40 countries. He was awarded a fellowship to the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen, Colorado where he studied with Hans Graf, Hugh Wolff, Christopher Seaman, Robert Spano and Larry Ratcliff. He holds a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Performance Certificate in violin from DePaul University.
Mr. Zikri has been the resident conductor for the Lira ensemble since 2011. In 2018 Mr. Zikri made his conducting debut with the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago at Carnegie Hall.
He has been recently appointed Music Director of the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra where he will assume his leadership duties in the 2019/2020 season.