- Honorary Degree (2017)
- Doctor of Music
- Bloomington Commencement
- Bloomington, Indiana
- Presenter: Michael A. McRobbie
Patrick Summers, a renowned conductor, was born in Washington and raised in Loogootee, Indiana. He earned a bachelor's degree in music from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music in 1986. In 1998, he collaborated with André Previn on the world premiere of "A Streetcar Named Desire" in San Francisco, and conducted several of the performances. He also conducted Heggie's "Moby-Dick," which was telecast on PBS's "Great Performances." In 2002, he won a Grammy Award for the album "Bel Canto," performed by soprano Renée Fleming and the Orchestra of St. Luke's.
Between the years 2001-2016, Summers served as principal guest conductor for the San Francisco Opera, and in 2015, received the company's highest honor, the San Francisco Opera Medal. His relationship with the San Francisco Company has spanned 30 years. He was named artistic and music director of Houston Grand Opera in 2011 after having served as the company's music director since 1998. Having conducted more than 60 operas with the company, he has been responsible for many important artistic advances, including the development of the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, conducting the first Wagner "Des Ring des Nibelungen" cycle in the company's history, developing many world premieres, and advancing the careers of numerous emerging opera stars.
Highlights of his work at the Houston Grand Opera include: conducting the company's first performance of the Verdi Requiem; collaborating on the world premieres of André Previn's "Brief Encounter," Christopher Theofanidis's "The Refuge," Heggie's "It's a Wonderful Life," "The End of the Affair" and "Three Decembers," Carlisle Floyd's "Cold Sassy Tree" and "Prince of Players" and Tod Machover's "Resurrection;" and leading the American premiere of Weinberg's Holocaust opera "The Passenger," both at Houston and on tour to the Lincoln Center Festival.
In 2017, Indiana University awarded Summers with an Honorary Doctor of Music at its winter commencement ceremony.