Artistic Director Amir Kats has extensive experience in conducting, teaching, and performing music. He currently teaches orchestra and band at Blake Middle School. From 2012 to 2022 he was conductor of the St. Paul Jewish Community Center Symphony, and he has served as a coach for MacPhail Center for Music and various school ensembles throughout Minnesota and New Mexico. From 2007 to 2012, Mr. Kats served as the Artistic Director of Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies.
Mr. Kats holds degrees in clarinet, music theory, and conducting from the University of Michigan, Florida State University, and Curtis Institute of Music. A native of Haifa, Israel, he comes from a musical family, being both the son and the grandson of pianists.
Manny Laureano, the principal trumpet of the Minnesota Orchestra, will be our guest soloist Nov. 5, 2023. He is also beginning his tenth season as music director of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with a wide variety of professional and youth orchestras in the Twin Cities and nationally as a soloist, clinician and conductor, and served as co-director of the Minnesota Youth Symphonies for 32 years.
Previous Guest Artists
Mark Orton, composer
Lynn Erickson, trumpet, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
Christopher Aspaas, tenor, St. Olaf College
Kenneth Freed, violin, Minnesota Orchestra
Sachiya Isomura, cello, Minnesota Orchestra
Jack Glatzer, violin
Aaron Janse, violin, Minnesota Orchestra
Peter McGuire, violin, Minnesota Orchestra
Anthony Ross, cello, Minnesota Orchestra
John Snow, oboe, Minnesota Orchestra
St. Mary’s Balalaika Orchestra