Kenneth Kiesler to Lead 20th International Masterclass for Orchestral and Choir Conductors

By Steve Nagel on Jan 24, 2016 07:55 AM EST

For aspiring conductors in the Berlin region (or with the means to travel), an opportunity to learn from the best in the business is around the corner. American conductor Kenneth Kiesler will be leading the 20th International Masterclass for Orchestral and Choir Conductors in May 2016, with applications now being accepted. An icon in the world of conducting, Maestro Kiesler's orchestra credits are too long to list. As director of the IMB program (International Masterclasses Berlin), the Grammy-nominated conductor and recipient of the 2011 American Prize in Conducting will be arriving at the St. Lukas Church, Berlin in May to extend his years of experience to a lucky few, in a public context. The repertoire will focus on Händel and Mozart.

Apart from Kenneth Kiesler's reputation as the long-serving musical director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra---along with a laundry list of American & world philharmonic conducting credits---Kiesler is also known as the premiere instructor in his field. Ever since his tenure with the ISO, he has set up numerous initiatives such as founding the Illinois Symphony Chorus & Illinois Chamber Orchestra, while directing for the Conductors Retreat at Medomak, the Conductors Programme of Canada’s National Arts Centre, and the Vendome International Academy of Orchestral Conducting in France. His experience in rearing young conductors makes his upcoming 20th International Masterclass for Orchestral and Choir Conductors an even more desirable event.

The IMB (International Masterclasses Berlin) team is composed of professional musicians (including Kenneth Kiesler), and claims to team up with revered local institutions, offering the "best atmosphere for learning and the highest level of conducting training and experience". Priding themselves on a high-caliber learning environment, the 20th International Masterclass for Orchestral and Choir Conductors, which will be held in St. Lukas Church in Berlin, was initially available to only 15 participants, but has since been expanded to accept more students. Specific numbers have not yet been cited, but smaller numbers make for a focused and immersive learning environment in the presence of the Berlin Sinfonietta and The English Choir Berlin, which have cooperated with the IMB and the International Masterclass for Orchestral and Choir Conductors to make this event a reality.

The masterclasses will last from May 23rd-28th, focusing on excerpts from Händel's Messiah and Mozart's Requiem in D minor. The event will be held "primarily in English (and secondarily in Germany)" and recordings of the event will be issued to all participants on a 16 GB flash drive. Applications are still being accepted and can be filled out here.

To get a taste of Kenneth Kiesler's teaching style, check out this clip from his work at the Conductors Retreat at Medomak:

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TagsKenneth Kiesler, master class, Handel, Mozart, St. Lukas Church

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