A native of Canton, Ohio, Mr. Girard began his musical studies on the piano at age 7. He enjoyed a rich, musical upbringing including studies in trumpet, cello, organ, and voice, and performances with various ensembles and stage productions in his hometown. He entered the Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music, earning a Bachelor’s degree in composition under Loris Chobanian, and receiving awards in organ-playing and composition. His graduate work began at the University of North Texas, where he studied conducting with Anshel Brusilow and organ with Donald Willing. He completed his doctoral studies in Opera at the University of Texas at Austin under Walter Ducloux. In Austin, Mr. Girard served as Music Director in Residence of the Capitol City Playhouse Opera, leading productions of La traviata, Le nozze di Figaro, Rigoletto, and I Pagliacci. As Artistic Director of the Gilbert and Sullivan society of Austin, he led productions of Ruddigore and Trial by Jury, as well as Il barbière di Siviglia with the Austin Opera. He also served as conducting assistant and organ soloist with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. In 1989, Mr. Girard conducted the world premiere of Bizet’s early one-act opera, La maison du docteur in his own edition and orchestration. He moved to Stuttgart in 1991, assuming the position of coach/conductor (Solorepetitur mit Dirigierverpflichtung) with the Stuttgart State Opera, where he has conducted Haydn’s Il mondo della luna and Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti. In addition to his duties in Stuttgart, he has conducted The Gondoliers for the Lyric Opera of Dallas. Cultivating the next generation of performers, he has been teaching young opera singers and pianists at the Stuttgarter Hochschule für Musik since 2000, and in the summer at the Lotte Lehmann Akademie in Perleberg since 2009. Further engagements include the Stuttgart Ballet, the Southwest German Radio, the Bavarian State Orchestra, the Royal Theater of Madrid, L'Opéra national du Rhin and the Ludwigsburg Festival.