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.”

In 2012-2013, Maestro Kluge celebrated 25 years as Music Director of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra. During the season, Maestro Kluge led a historical performance at the National Gallery of Art in honor of the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.”The Washington Post raved about this performance, noting: “Kluge is superb at high-voltage works like this — if you haven’t heard him conduct, you’re missing a great musical experience — and turned in a taut, visceral reading, perhaps the most exciting heard here in years.”

Maestro Kluge 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. In 2006, he garnered the Wammie Award for Best Conductor given by the Washington Area Music Awards and he has appeared as guest conductor with the Sinfonietta de Paris, Les Solistes Parisiens, the Mannheim Chamber Orchestra, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and the Baltimore Lyric 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 2003, Maestro Kluge founded the Children’s Arts Festival. For Alexandria City Public School 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 music students through conducting instruction, master classes, workshops, and mentoring.

Maestro Kluge is earning glowing acclaim as a composer. 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; and Meibuki, a concerto written for the violinist Midori during her Orchestra Residencies Program with the ASO in 2012.  Maestro Kluge, in collaboration  with his wife, was commissioned by The National Gallery of Art in 2012 to compose and perform film scores for a historic Alice Guy-Blache retrospective.  In 2013, the Kluges were commissioned to write River Poem for orchestra, chorus and bells, in dedication of the City of Alexandria. The Kluges composed and Maestro Kluge performed Rhapsody for Lily for orchestra and piano in 2014, which was dedicated to the Kluge’s newborn daughter.

The husband and wife team continue to write scores for film and live performance, and are in the process of composing a piano concerto.  Their most ambitious current project is a commission from the National Gallery of Art that will benefit imprisoned writers throughout the world. The music will be inspired by these writers’ works, and  is scheduled to be performed at NGA in 2015-16.

Maestro Kluge’s stature as a composer and conductor is being recognized nationally, as he has  recently been named Music Adviser for the Hollywood Film Festival.  He produced and moderated a music panel for the Topanga Film Festival in 2014 with film director/producer Alexander Payne.  Additionally, Kluge serves as Music Advisor for CineCause, a global organization dedicated to film-makers and change agents who want to have a positive social impact on the world. Hear compositions by Maestro and Kathryn Vassar Kluge at

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