Described by Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun as a "remarkably fluid and expressive" conductor, Blair Skinner currently serves as the Founder and Music Director of Charm City Collegium, the conductor of the Johns Hopkins University Concert Orchestra, and a performer with Synesthesia, a performance art collaboration between musicians and composers from the Peabody Conservatory and visual artists from the Maryland Institute College of Art. He has previously been involved as Resident Conductor of Baltimore's Figaro Project, as well as a cover conductor with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera Baltimore, and was the 2015 Emerging Conductor at the Peninsula Music Festival. He has led performances with the National Arts Center (Ottawa, ON), Peninsula Music Festival, Chicago Chamber, North Shore Chamber, Peabody Symphony, Northwestern University Symphony, Northwestern University Philharmonia, and Wheaton College Symphony Orchestras. Equally at home in the opera pit, he has performed with the Repertory Opera Theater of Washington, Peabody Chamber Opera, hexaCollective, The Figaro Project, Operation: Opera, and the Wheaton College Opera Music Theater. Being a passionate advocate of Contemporary Music, he has worked closely with composer, Michael Hersch, on recording projects and performances of his works - most recently, "a breath upwards," featuring soprano, Ah Young Hong.
He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University as a conducting student of Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar. He received a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University under the mentorship of Victor Yamposlky. Additional studies have taken place at the Tanglewood Music Center, National Arts Center, Pierre Monteux School, International Conducting Workshop and Festival, and the Brevard Music Center. Other conducting influences include John Nelson, Pinchas Zukerman, Leon Fleischer, Stefan Asbury, Mario Venzago, Marin Alsop, Michael Jinbo, Paul Vermel, Kenneth Kiesler, Mallory Thompson, and Robert Hasty.