Welcome to the official website of educator and conductor Danko Drusko


Born to Croatian parents in Germany, Dr. Drusko is currently Music Director of Youth Music Monterey County and Youth Orchestra Salinas/El Sistema USA as well as Instrumental Director at York School. He is founder and Music Director of Hoosier Philharmonic and previously held positions as Director of Orchestra and Opera at the Northern Illinois University School of Music and Associate Instructor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Opera & Ballet Theater.


Drusko has conducted orchestras throughout Europe and North America including the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Frankfurt Opera, Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Budapest Operetta, Metropolitan Orchestra Lisbon, Rochester Philharmonic, Naples Philharmonic, Guelph Symphony Orchestra, Amriswil Chamber Orchestra, Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra, Jacobs School of Music, Eastman School of Music, Guildhall School of Music, Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Trossingen, University of Wisconsin Meat Witter School of Music, University of Nebraska School of Music and YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, LA Phil).

Most recently Drusko led Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio at the NIU School of Music. He also conducted The Magic Flute, Le Nozze di Figaro, Hänsel und Gretel, and La Traviata. While an Associate Instructor of the Opera and Ballet Theater at Indiana University, Dr. Drusko led several performances including productions of The Magic Flute and David Parson’s ballet The Envelope. He served as Assistant Conductor in productions of L’Italiana in Algeri, The Last Savage, Barber of Seville, Die Fledermaus and Carmen. Outside the classical world, Dr. Drusko has conducted several shows including Pirates of Penzance and Reefer Madness throughout the U.S., Europe and Canada.

As Music Director and arranger, Drusko’s re-orchestration and recording of The Magic Flute premiered at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, for which he collaborated with renowned visual artist Frances Stark and legendary music producer H.B. Barnum to create a “pedagogical opera”. The film has been screened in museums including The Smithsonian in Washington D.C. and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. The project itself became subject to Drusko's dissertation: FRANCES STARK'S THE MAGIC FLUTE (ORCHESTRATED BY DANKO DRUSKO) A PEDAGOGICAL OPERA – CONDUCTOR AS COLLABORATOR. Drusko also served as Music Director of the SoundExchange Orchestra in Rochester as well as several orchestral and choral ensembles throughout Germany and Switzerland.


Drusko is a frequent collaborator with contemporary composers and has conducted numerous premieres, including works for small ensemble, symphony orchestra, silent film and opera. Some of his collaborations involved Texu Kim (Korean Symphony Orchestra), Elizabeth Ogonek (Chicago Symphony Orchestra) and Keith Fitch (Cleveland Institute of Music), among others. He served as assistant conductor of the IU New Music Ensemble and was selected to work with Cristian Măcelaru and Leonard Slatkin at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. Drusko also gave a pre-concert lecture on Mahler's 2nd Symphony for The Cleveland Orchestra. 


With career beginnings as a trumpet player, Dr. Drusko competed in Germany’s national competition for young musicians “Jugend musiziert” after which he was invited to study trumpet at the Augsburg College of Music, today the Leopold Mozart Zentrum. Along with work as a professional trumpet player in symphonies and pit orchestras in Germany, Drusko also enjoyed performing as a tenor in several operas and toured with orchestras to Spain, Italy, Denmark, Poland and the United States. Dr. Drusko was a recipient of the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship and won the first and only prize in conducting by the Culture Foundation of Lake Constance in Germany. In 2014 he was awarded the prestigious Friedrichshafen City Art Award, a distinction given to promising artists every two years in their effort to promote cultural advancements in the region.


Danko Drusko holds a Doctor of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He received his Master's Degree in Orchestral Conducting from the Eastman School of Music and holds Staatsexamen degrees from both the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Trossingen (B.M. & M.M.) and the University of Konstanz (B.A. & M.Ed. English Literature & Linguistics). He currently lives in Monterey County with his wife and pets.






"The public is invited to join Danko Drusko, director of Orchestra and Opera at Northern Illinois University, and 10 conductors from around the United States and other countries as they work with the members of the NIU Philharmonic..."


"...Danko Drusko, a classical music conductor and arranger, who would become the linchpin of the creative team.
Ultimately, Stark had Drusko transform and simplify Mozart's original score to be performed by a diverse orchestra of 10- to 19-year-olds from throughout L.A...."


"...she commissioned the young classical conductor Danko Drusko (then a PhD student) to orchestrate the opera for an ensemble of musicians between ages 10 and 19, recruited from local youth orchestras..."

18- Orchestra Conductor Workshop -120006



©2018 by Danko Drusko