Biography of Kenneth Kiesler
is one of the most prominent conductors of his
generation, and one of the world's most sought-after mentors to conductors.
He has been Director of Orchestras and Professor of Conducting at the University of Michigan since 1995.
has conducted many of the world's leading ensembles, led many world premiere performances, and directed several acclaimed recordings.
Of his 2008 debut with L'Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, critic Roger Bouchard stated, "There do exist great American conductors, and Kiesler is one of them!
has conducted the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center
, the Chicago Symphony, the orchestras of Utah, Detroit, New Jersey, Florida, Indianapolis, Memphis, San Diego, Albany, Virginia, New Hampshire, Omaha, Fresno, Richmond, Long Beach, Long Island, Portland, Jerusalem, Haifa, Osaka, Puerto Rico, Daejeon and Pusan in Korea, the New Symphony Orchestra
in Bulgaria, Hang Zhou in China, and at the festivals of Meadowbrook, Skaneateles, Sewanee, Breckenridge, and Aspen.
Of all the reasons why this 'Turk' sounded so good, foremost among them is the firm and stylish conducting of Kenneth Kiesler
dance performances include Appalachian Spring with the Martha Graham Dance Company
and Cinderella with the Indianapolis Ballet.
upcoming projects include the world premiere performance and recording of the Argentian Piano Concerto by Alberto Ginastera, and the first complete performance and recording of L'Orestie, a stage work for large orchestra, chorus and soloists by Darius Milhaud.
Kiesler is the conductor of many acclaimed recordings on the Naxos and Equilibrium labels with the BBC in London, Third Angle New Music Ensemble, and both the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre.
has led premieres by Steven Stucky, Gunther Schuller, Leslie Bassett, James P. Johnston, Aharon Harlap, Gabriela Lena Frank, Steve Rush, Evan Chambers and Paul Brantley.
At the age of 19, he
conducted the first performance of Gershwin's original jazz-band score of Rhapsody in Blue since 1925, and he
conducted the U.S. Premiere of Mendelssohn's
Third Piano Concerto, the world premiere of James P. Johnson's The Dreamy Kid, and the first performance since 1940 of Johnson's blues opera, De Organizer.
Kiesler is Conductor Laureate of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra where, as Music Director from 1980 to 2000, he founded the Illinois Symphony Chorus and Illinois Chamber Orchestra, led debuts at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and won several awards.
Since the summer of 2006, at the invitation of Music Director Pinchas Zukerman, Kenneth Kiesler has been Director of the Conductors Programme of Canada's National Arts Centre.
conducting students have won the worlds' major international competitions such as the Maazel/Vilar, Eduardo Mata, and Nicolai Malko Competitions, and hold positions with major orchestras, opera companies, and music schools worldwide.
Kiesler has been a frequent guest conductor of the orchestras at the Manhattan School of Music, and served as Visiting Artist and Advisor from 2006 to 2010.
led the Manhattan Chamber Sinfonia with principal players of the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie's Zankel Hall, and Mahler's Second Symphony with the Manhattan Symphony at the Cathedral of St. John
drew an assured, colorful performance, winning a prolonged ovation."
Kiesler is the founder and director of the Conductors Retreat at Medomak (Maine), an intensive summer training program for conductors of at all stages of their careers, the subject of a 2002 article in the Atlantic Monthly: "Conducting: A backwoods Guide.
Pianist Lorin Hollander said, "Mr.
ability to conjure up the creative energies of the works of music which he
explores is nothing short of astonishing and the atmosphere of love and empowerment which envelops the community of musicians and conductors is beyond anything I have ever experienced."
Charles Staff of The Indianapolis News said: "Kiesler is a man with a musical mind at work.
is a trained wilderness guide and occasionally leads expeditions in the wilderness areas of Maine.
Composer Robert Sirota, right, and conductor Kenneth Kiesler, left, congratulate each other following the world premiere performance of Sirota's work "212."