Maestro Bruce Hangen and the Vista Philharmonic Orchestra

Through his perceptive organizational leadership, musical versatility,  and creative programming, conductor Bruce Hangen is known for his ability to make music come alive!

Maestro Bruce Hangen serves as the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Vista Philharmonic Orchestra at Groton Hill, and has been a vital part of the organization since 1988. He is also Director of Orchestral Activities at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, serving as principal orchestral conductor and director of conducting programs. A frequent guest conductor of the country’s leading orchestras, from New York to Dallas, Hangen led the Boston Pops in almost 300 performances in the last 30 years, and most recently served as Principal Pops Guest Conductor. Guest appearances have also taken him to Canada, Japan, Albania, Taiwan, and New Zealand. Hangen was formerly affiliated with the Portland (ME) Opera Repertory Theatre as its founder and Artistic/General Director from 1995-2003. He was also Music Director of the Omaha Symphony (1984-96) and Music Director and Conductor of the Portland (ME) Symphony (1976-86), among several other posts. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Hangen was a conducting fellow at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood for two summers where his teachers included Gunther Schuller, Seiji Ozawa, Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson Thomas, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Bruno Maderna, and Joseph Silverstein. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from University of New England in 1981 and was the recipient of the ICAN Foundation of Omaha’s 1990 Browning Award for Career Excellence and Vision. Hangen was born in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and raised in Great Falls, Montana.


The critically-acclaimed Vista Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Bruce Hangen, is comprised of 70 experienced professional musicians who also perform and teach in high-caliber organizations and ensembles throughout New England. The Orchestra performs symphonic classics as well as works by living composers, such as Lera Auerbach, Tan Dun, Oliver Knussen, and Rodion Shchedrin. Guest soloists have included principal musicians from the Boston, Philadelphia, and St. Louis Symphonies, plus international soloists Eliot Fisk, Ryu Goto, Irina Muresanu, R. Carlos Nakai, Anoushka Shankar, James Walker, and the Quartetto Gelato. Our concerts offer an interesting and diverse range of repertoire from well-known works by your favorite composers to lesser-known gems and new works that we think you will enjoy. Our distinctive concert experience represents a partnership between our artists and our audience as we embark on a musical journey together. Maestro Hangen’s engaging commentary during each concert is aimed at helping you understand the music and the intentions of the composers. We don’t want you just to be a passive recipient of the music; we want you to find the joy that comes from a deeper understanding of the artistic product. The achievements of the Vista Philharmonic Orchestra have been recognized through numerous grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, major corporations and foundations, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Orchestra is a member of the League of American Orchestras.