He studied the flute at the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Juillard School, New York, and in Paris with Jean-Pierre Rampal.
He studied conducting with, amongst others, Leonard Bernstein.
He was music director of the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 1992. He was principal conductor of the Solisti New York, artistic director of the Oklahoma Mozart Festival from 1985 to 2005, music director of the Opera/Omaha, and music director of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. He teaches at the Yale School of Music.