Chamber Orchestra passes baton to Butler grad

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The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra has new artistic leadership.

Matthew Kraemer mugMatthew Kraemer

Matthew Kraemer, a Butler University graduate who went on to lead a pair of Pennsylvania orchestras—the Butler County Symphony and the Erie Chamber Orchestra—has been appointed as the ICO’s music director and principal conductor. The hiring was announced Thursday morning.

Kraemer, also a trained violinist, will take over the baton from Kirk Trevor, who announced his impending retirement in 2013 after 25 years with the ICO.

The three leading candidates for the position were invited to perform with the ICO during its 2014-15 season. Kraemer led a January concert that included works by Mozart, Stravinsky, and Ravel.

The Indiana native also served as associate conductor for the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and has frequently collaborated with Broadway star Idina Menzel for her symphonic concerts around the country.

A critic for the Buffalo News wrote that Kramer “…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."

The 34-musician ICO, founded in 1984, is the orchestra-in-residence at the Schrott Center for the Arts at Butler University. Its mission is to “advance and promote music composed for small orchestras through professional concert performances and educational programs.”

Kraemer's contract starts July 1, but he is set to conduct the ICO at a June 11 concert.

The ICO's 2015-16 schedule will be announced May 16.

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