Matthew KraemerMusic Director and Principal Conductor
Recognized for his “musical sensitivity” and “energized sense of interpretation”, Matthew Kraemer is making his mark among young American conductors for his inspired performances and versatility. The Buffalo News notes, “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 focuses on the music without any histrionics.” Kraemer was appointed Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra in 2015 and recently extended his commitment through 2023. He also serves as Music Director of the Butler County (PA) Symphony and the Marion (IN) Philharmonic. His active guest conducting schedule includes appearances with many of the nation’s finest orchestras, including the Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Columbus, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Nashville, North Carolina, Saint Louis, Spokane, Syracuse, and Toledo symphony orchestras, as well as Canada’s Mississauga Symphony, Niagara Symphony, and Hamilton Philharmonic and in Europe with the Vidin Philharmonic and the Orquesta de Cadaqués. Upcoming highlights include performances with Amy Porter, Orion Weiss, and the PRISM Quartet, in addition to engagements with the Arkansas, Toledo, and Virginia Symphonies, Louisiana Philharmonic, and Rochester Philharmonic.
Kraemer served as associate conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic from 2009 to 2014, where he regularly led the orchestra on each of its concert series. The BPO’s award-winning education concerts grew exponentially under his leadership, expanding to reach over 40,000 students throughout western New York. A passionate advocate for new music, he has performed the works of many living composers during his career. Kraemer served as Music Director of the Erie Chamber Orchestra (2012-2017) and associate conductor of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra (2007-2010). His performances are broadcast regularly on NPR’s Performance Today.
Recipient of the distinguished Herbert von Karajan Conducting Fellowship and the Bruno Walter Career Development Grant, Kraemer served a residency with the Vienna Philharmonic at the 2006 Salzburg Music Festival. Equally at home in the opera pit, his credits include fully-staged productions of The Magic Flute, The Barber of Seville, Madame Butterfly, La Traviata, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Happy Birthday Wanda June (world premiere), Trouble in Tahiti, and Mansfield Park (American professional premiere). He has collaborated with many leading artists, including Lang Lang, Elmar Oliveira, Awadagin Pratt, Richard Stolzman, Wu Man, Bela Fleck, Ben Folds, and Chris Botti. As a frequent collaborator with Broadway superstar Idina Menzel, he served as conductor for many of her symphony engagements nationwide.
An Indiana native, Kraemer studied conducting in Vienna, Austria with Salvador Mas Conde and was twice a fellowship conductor at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen. His conducting teachers include David Zinman, Robert Spano, and Jorma Panula. Kraemer is a graduate of both Butler University and the University of Nevada, where he assisted former Cincinnati Symphony concertmaster Phillip Ruder. An accomplished violinist, he was a member of the Nightingale String Quartet. When he is not performing, Kraemer enjoys cooking, running, and reading. He and his wife, Megan, reside in Indianapolis with their sons Gabriel and Nathaniel.