Music Director: Kim Allen Kluge

Distinguished by his powerful conducting style and its dramatic impact, Maestro Kim Allen Kluge has been likened to the great poetic conductors of our time. The Washington Post hails:

Kluge’s sense of drama was evident…relentless pressure I associate with Arturo Toscanini.

The Alexandria Journal has lauded Mr. Kluge’s passionate style, commenting:

In its power, Kluge’s performance bore the hallmarks of the work of such mesmerizing conductors as Artur Nikisch and…Leonard Bernstein.

Celebrating 25 years as Music Director of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra during the 2012-2013 Season, Maestro Kluge’s accomplishments were further noted by The Washington Post:

Kluge has fashioned an ensemble with tremendous musical responsiveness, and every instrumental group… bears the mark of his intelligence and drive.

A popular and successful guest conductor, his extensive accomplishments also include appearances with the Sinfonietta de Paris, Les Solistes Parisiens, the Mannheim Chamber Orchestra, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and the Baltimore Lyric Opera.

Throughout Maestro Kluge’s versatile career, he has worked as concertmaster, orchestral keyboardist, wind player, organist, singer, chamber musician, recitalist, concerto soloist, chorus director, vocal coach, composer and arranger. He is a Valedictorian of Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he served as concertmaster of the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra and received the coveted Arthur Dann Award for Outstanding Pianist and the Pi Kappa Lamda Scholarship for Musical Excellence. Maestro Kluge pursued doctorates in Piano and Conducting from the University of Maryland and received a Conducting diploma from the Academia Musicale Chigiana in Siena. He participated in the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center Conducting Program where he studied with Seiji Ozawa, Roger Norrington and Sir Simon Rattle. Most recently, he garnered the 2006 Wammie Award for Best Conductor given by the Washington Area Music Awards.

In his work, Maestro Kluge merges music with other performing, visual and literary arts.  He has recruited and collaborated with many artists and arts organizations in his zeal for promoting multi-arts programming including: The Arthur M. Sackler and Freer Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian Institution in a program celebrating Islamic culture shortly after 9/11; The Torpedo Factory Art Center and The Art League of Alexandria for a multi-season exploration of music and art; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in a concert exploring synaesthesia (the merging of the senses); as well as many of Washington, DC’s most adventuresome dance companies and theaters such as the The Shakespeare Theatre Company and Signature Theatre.  He was also co-founder and Artistic Director of Washington, DC’s Capital City Opera.

A passionate advocate for music and arts education, Maestro Kluge believes education should be integrated into every concert experience regardless of format or audience demographic.  In Alexandria Public Schools he has strengthened general music education by creating curriculum-based multi-arts programs as well as full orchestra and chamber ensemble experiences for all students.  For young families Maestro Kluge founded the Children’s Arts Festival in 2001 as well as initiating Sunday matinee concerts.  For music students he has developed mentoring programs and side-by-side concerts—pairing aspiring young musicians with ASO professionals.  This season he will work closely with many of Alexandria’s middle school, high school, and college-aged music students through conducting instruction, master classes, and mentoring students in performance and music composition.

Maestro Kluge is earning glowing acclaim as a composer. He recently co-founded Moon Valley Ranch Music with his wife Kathryn for the composition of film scores and concert music.  Kluge’s compositional approach creates a fresh synthesis of Western and Global influences, classical and popular styles and instrumental and vocal colors.  His recent commissions include Vocalise, a concerto written for and performed by Branford Marsalis; Haiku Suite, choreographed and performed by Bowen McCauley Dance at the Kennedy Center; score for silent film, A Christmas Carol, commissioned by the National Gallery of Art; and most recently, Meibuki, a concerto written for the violinist, Midori, during the collaboration of her Orchestra Residencies Program with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra in 2012.

In 2013, Kim Allen Kluge and his wife Kathryn composed River Poem for orchestra, chorus, and bells, which is a tribute to the dynamic city of Alexandria, VA.  Commissioned by Virginia BronzeRiver Poem had its world premiere in February 2013 with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Bronze, the Alexandria Choral Society, and the Heritage Signature Chorale.  The Kluges were also commissioned by the National Gallery of Art to compose and perform chamber music to the silent films of Alice Guy-Blache in an historic retrospective.  Most recently, Maestro and Kathryn Kluge premiered Rhapsody for Lily in February 2014, a piece composed in honor of the birth of their daughter, Lily.  The husband and wife team continue to write scores for films in Hollywood and are in the process of composing an opera.  Additionally, in keeping with their deep commitment to music education, the Kluges will be composing a multi-arts piece for children.

Maestro Kluge’s creative work derives from his passion and conviction that people of radically different backgrounds can share the essence of their humanity through artistic expression.  The common denominator in Kim Allen Kluge’s work is his desire to reach audiences in a visceral and thought-provoking manner, often through the juxtaposition or synthesis of disparate styles or genres.