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📷 Clock by the Gannon Arch
Recognized for his “musical sensitivity” and “energized sense of interpretation”, conductor Matthew Kraemer is quickly gaining notice for his inspired performances and innovative programming. Herman Trotter of the Buffalo News recently wrote, “He presents a tall, dignified and stately podium presence with a quite clear beat, a good sense of shaping melodic lines, and an all business attitude that focused on the music without any histrionics.” Mr. Kraemer has recently been appointed Music Director and Conductor of both the Butler County Symphony Orchestra and the Erie Chamber Orchestra, beginning with the 2012-13 concert season. He continues to hold the Montante Family Endowed Associate Conductor's Chair with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, where he appears on each of the orchestra’s major series, including subscription weeks, Pops, Family, and summer concerts. He plays a vital role in designing and conducting the orchestra’s award-winning education and community engagement programs, as well as assisting Music Director JoAnn Falletta during recording sessions and on tour. Upcoming season highlights include performances Bela Fleck, Enrique Graf, Wynona Judd, Natalie Merchant, the Indigo Girls, and tour performances with Tony award-winner Idina Menzel. Mr. Kraemer's future guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Elgin Symphony, Tallahassee Symphony, Westmoreland Symphony, Binghamton Philharmonic, Erie Philharmonic, Hamilton (ON) Philharmonic, and Symphony Syracuse.Recipient of the distinguished Herbert von Karajan Conducting Fellowship and the Bruno Walter Career Development Grant, Mr. Kraemer 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 symphony orchestras of Akron, Asheville, Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Columbus, Hartford, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Mississauga (ON), Nashville, North Carolina, Spokane, St. Louis, and Virginia, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Erie and Reno Chamber Orchestras, and in Europe with the Vidin Philharmonic and the Orquesta de Cadaqués. Equally at home in the ballet pit, he has led fully-staged performances with Virginia Ballet Theatre, Ohio Ballet, Neglia Ballet Artists, and Todd Rosenlieb Dance. Mr. Kraemer 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, Mark O'Connor, and Richard Stolzman, among many others. He recently conducted the BPO to considerable acclaim when internationally renowned superstar Lang Lang performed Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto at Kleinhans Music Hall.Mr. Kraemer is a passionate advocate for new music and has performed the works of many living composers during his career. He has led composer readings and workshops with several orchestras in the United States and will continue to lead the BPO’s Earshot partnership with the American Composers Orchestra’s in Buffalo this season. Increasingly recognized for his committed advocacy of music education and his devotion to young audiences, he has created numerous arts education programs and has taught at several music festivals both in the United States and abroad. The Buffalo Philharmonic's extensive education concerts have grown exponentially under his leadership, expanding to reach approximately 40,000 students annually throughout western New York. Prior to his appointment in Buffalo, Mr. 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. An Indiana native, Mr. 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. Mr. Kraemer is a graduate of Butler University and the University of Nevada, Reno, where he assisted former Cincinnati Symphony concertmaster Phillip Ruder. 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, Mr. Kraemer enjoys cooking, running, and reading. He and his wife Megan reside in Buffalo with their newborn son Gabriel.
Mr. Wright was an Instructor of Fine Arts and the Music Director at Gannon University until July 2011 when he passed away. He was the Director/ Conductor of the Erie Chamber Orchestra, the successor to the Erie Bayfront Orchestra which he founded in 1978, and the Director/ Conductor of the Erie Opera Theatre, which he founded in 1983.Mr. Wright was tremendously active within the Erie Community. He was a past board member of the Martin Luther King Center and Perseus House, a center for delinquent youths. Since 1978 he was active on the board of directors of the Arts Council of Erie. He served on the Minority Panel of the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts and the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra Board, and the Association of Pennsylvania Orchestras' Panel of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Mr. Wright also served on the board of the Erie Civic Authority, Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, the Pennsylvania State Council on Arts Education, and the Florence Crittenton Home. In 1997 he was among the graduates of Leadership Erie and recently served on the Board of Villa Maria Center and the Arts Board of the Glenwood YMCA. A performer and supporter of the Arts throughout his entire life, Bruce Morton Wright was a tremendous advocate for furthering the arts in Pennsylvania and Erie County. He will be forever missed by his countless friends and colleagues.
The support of the late Mr. Clarence E. Beyers was critical in the founding of the original Erie Chamber Orchestra. Although he was a generous contributor to many other organizations, he had a special fondness for the Erie Chamber Orchestra, which he called "his orchestra." It is through his continuing support provided by the Clarence E. Beyers Music Fund as well as the support provided by Gannon University that the Orchestra is able to present these concerts.