Announcing New Music Director/Conductor

Butler County Symphony Association (BCSA) Announces Results of Their Year Long Conductor Search

Matthew Kraemer, conductorThe Board of Directors of the Butler County Symphony Association (BCSA) announces the appointment of Matthew Kraemer of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra as the new Music Director/Conductor of the Butler County Symphony Orchestra.

At the symphony Board Meeting held last night, May 1, 2012, the Board unanimously approved the selection of the Search Committee, lead by Bryan Stevenson, Treasurer of the BCSA Board.

Ronald McKissick, President of the Board, said,  “The appointment of a new conductor is of vital importance to the future growth of the orchestra and its goal of becoming the leading community orchestra in Western Pennsylvania.  I know that the board and the orchestra are ready to take on every challenge.  Matthew Kraemer will play a key role in designing and conducting the orchestra’s season and community education programs. He brings experience, and gives us a further connection to the new generation of listeners we are hoping to attract.”

Stevenson relayed his e-mail to the Search Committee. “Well, after nearly a year, including the last 24-anxious hours, I am thrilled to inform you that . . . We have a CONDUCTOR! Matthew just called and has accepted our offer and is absolutely thrilled to be considered as the new Music Director/Conductor of the Butler County Symphony Orchestra” stated Stevenson.

Stevenson added, “Thanks to every one of you for your hard work, dedication and thoughtful consideration throughout this year long process. I am confident that we have made the correct and necessary decisions to move our organization forward into a bright and rewarding future. None of this could have been accomplished without your help and for that I am grateful. It has been a pleasure really getting to know so many of you and to learn of your profound devotion to our organization and the greatest of all the fine arts, music!”

Kraemer is a graduate of Butler University and the University of Nevada, Reno, where he assisted former Cincinnati Symphony concertmaster Phillip Ruder.  He is currently associate conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.  Kraemer additionally appears as guest conductor this coming season with the Elgin Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, Tallahassee Symphony, Hamilton (ON) Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, and returns to the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra for several weeks.

“I’m tremendously excited about joining the BCSO family and being the Music Director/Conductor in the 7th Best Small Town in America. From the very first concert I conducted in December, I knew from our rehearsals and then our first performance, that the musicians had a great seriousness of purpose, that the community was out there to really support the organization and we had the makings of something very special,” said Kraemer. The creative possibilities in this area are extraordinary, and the BCSO is at the center of a very positive artistic movement right now. The combination of the orchestra’s artistry and the entire organization’s commitment to having music play a central and vital role in the community and Western PA makes this a thrilling opportunity for me. I can’t wait to jump right in and be a part of this!” said Kraemer

The BCSO enters its 64th season with Kraemer selecting the programming for the season’s October 6th, 2012 opener.

Recognized for his “musical sensitivity” and “energized sense of interpretation,” Kraemer has gained notice for his inspired performances and innovative programming. He is the recipient of the distinguished Herbert von Karajan Conducting Fellowship and the Bruno Walter Career Development Grant.  He served a residency with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Music Festival during the summer of 2006.  His numerous guest conducting engagements have included appearances with the following symphony orchestras: Akron, Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Hartford, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Mississauga (ON), Nashville, North Carolina, Spokane, St. Louis, and Virginia, the Reno Chamber Orchestra, and in Europe with the Vidin Philharmonic and the Orquestra de Cadaqués.

He has served as conductor for Broadway superstar Idina Menzel’s numerous symphony engagements nationwide and he has also collaborated with many other leading artists, including:  Awadagin Pratt, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Philippe Quint, Jennifer Koh, Ben Folds, Chris Botti and Richard Stolzman. He recently conducted the BPO to considerable acclaim when internationally renowned superstar Lang Lang performed Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto.

Before his appointment in Buffalo, Kraemer completed a highly successful, three-year tenure as associate conductor of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra where he led the orchestra in over 200 performances. He conducted the Akron Youth Symphony in its 50th anniversary season with a performance in Carnegie Hall.

An Indiana native, Kraemer studied conducting in Vienna, Austria with Salvador Mas Conde and was twice a fellowship conductor at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen.

He has additionally participated in the National Arts Center Conductor’s Program in Ottawa, Canada.  His conducting teachers include David Zinman, Robert Spano, Stanley DeRusha, and Jorma Panula. An accomplished violinist in his own right, he was a member of the Nightingale String Quartet. Fluent in German and French, his principal violin teachers include Phillip Ruder, Herbert Greenberg, and Larry Shapiro.  When he is not performing, Kraemer enjoys cooking, running, and reading.   He and his wife Megan reside in Buffalo, NY.

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