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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

PALMER, Nicholas

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Nicholas Palmer
PALMER, Nicholas. (Hingham, MA- ). In 1986 Palmer was selected as the music director and conductor of the DUBUQUE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. The second person to hold this position, succeeding Parvis MAHMOUD, Palmer brought to Dubuque a distinguished resume of accomplishments.

Accepted at Harvard, Palmer conducted the Harvard Wind Ensemble and the Bach Society Orchestra. He founded the Lowell House Orchestra and was twice the soloist with the Harvard Band. Palmer spent a year at the Juilliard School of Music in New York and earned a master's degree in conducting at the New England Conservatory.

Palmer founded the Florida Contemporary Ensemble and served as the musical director of several orchestras. With the start of the 1986-1987 season in Dubuque, the number of performances and size of the audience more than doubled. (1) Performances received many standing ovations and very positive critical reviews. While in Dubuque, Palmer also directed orchestras in Clinton, Iowa and Altoona, Pennsylvania.

In February 1998 Palmer announced that he would be leaving Dubuque for a similar position with the Owensboro, Kentucky symphony orchestra. During his twelve years in Dubuque, the number of concerts rose from six to twenty-four primarily because of Palmer's goal to reach a wider audience with pop concerts. Youth ensembles were added and the budget increased by 500%. (2)

He was succeeded as the symphony conductor by William INTRILIGATOR.



1. Symphony program information

2. Glindinning, Mary "Palmer Taking Gift of Music to Kentucky," Telegraph Herald, March 6, 1998, p. 1. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19980306&printsec=frontpage&hl=en