It has been 28 years since the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra announced a new music director, with Kirk Trevor having held that post over that lengthy interval. On March 26 the ICO's board of directors announced the appointment of Matthew Kraemer as the new music director and principal conductor. Kraemer's selection was the result of a comprehensive international search process which included inputs from the board, the staff and the musicians. Board president T.J. McGovern says of the selection, "Matthew Kraemer will bring a cutting-edge voice to the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and lead our intimate concert experiences, classic repertoire, and original programming into a new era."
An Indiana native and graduate of Butler University, Kraemer is recognized for his musical sensitivity and energized sense of interpretation. "The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra is a dynamic organization comprised of superb musicians providing its audience an impressive variety of music and concert formats. This position would undoubtedly be highly attractive to any conductor, but I am also drawn to the ICO because of my sincere affection for the rich and varied repertoire available to the chamber orchestra," said Kraemer. His active guest conducting schedule has included appearances with many of the nation's finest orchestras.
The search for a new music director began in July 2013 following Trevor's announcement of his imminent retirement in May 2015. It culminated in three finalists who were invited to appear with the ICO during the current season. Each finalist was asked to program and conduct a concert while experiencing an interaction with the musicians and the community.
ICO vice president of audience development and owner of Meridian Music Craig Gigax said, "I'm thrilled about our new music director. He represents a new beginning to the ICO and Indianapolis, and will bring energy, ideas, relationships with soloists, and an innovative vision."
The ICO's mission is to advance and promote music composed for the small orchestra through professional concert performances and education programs. Filling a much-needed role in the community, the orchestra also provides accompaniment to many area arts and educational organizations.
The ICO offers a variety of educational programs, including the FUNtastic Classics series and the In-School Residency program. The FUNtastic Classics series introduces elementary school children to the instrument groups of the orchestra and the concept of communicating ideas through music. The In-School Residency program brings ICO musicians into school classrooms to assist music teachers and give students the opportunity to learn from and play with professional musicians.
Excerpts of live ICO concerts can be heard on WFYI - 90.1 on Monday evenings. For more information about their season, visit icomusic.org or at facebook.com/IndianapolisChamberOrchestra.