College Faculty: Director of the MSM Percussion Ensemble
Acclaimed New York-based conductor Kyle Ritenauer is establishing himself as one of classical and contemporary music’s singular artistic leaders. As founder and artistic director of the Uptown Philharmonic, Ritenauer has earned renown for his detailed and imaginative musicality, and has found further success leading ensembles across North America, Europe, and Asia.
Ritenauer’s 2021 schedule includes regular engagements as guest conductor at the Manhattan School of Music. This summer, he will attend the Aspen Music Festival and School’s Conducting Academy as a Fellow.
An accomplished orchestral percussionist, Ritenauer brings patience and precision to the podium—wisdom gained, perhaps, through meditative contemplation while counting dozens of rests. Appearances as guest conductor include Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect, the Norwalk Symphony, Symphony New Hampshire, and the Juilliard Orchestra. Formerly an apprentice for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Ritenauer has also served the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as cover conductor.
Ritenauer has led orchestras in myriad genres, including a collaborations with Broadway superstars Kelli O’Hara and Matthew Morrison, and giants of contemporary music such as Claire Chase and Richard Danielpour. He was particularly honored to conduct a Juilliard School workshop of American Symphony by Jon Batiste, bandleader of the Late Show. Through the Bridge Arts Ensemble which he founded in 2015, Ritenauer curated interactive, grade-specific concerts and workshops for 50,000 students across the Adirondack region of New York state.
As founder and artistic director of the Uptown Philharmonic, Ritenauer captures performances of new and undiscovered works in high quality video, ensuring online visibility beyond their premieres. In one of its more visible collaborations, the ensemble gave the world premiere of Richard Danielpour’s new ballet, Cassandra’s Curse. The work’s performance premiere came in a four-show run at NYC’s Joyce Theater in collaboration with RIOULT Dance NY, while its studio recording was developed with Grammy®-winning sound engineer John Kilgore.
Ritenauer holds a deep fondness for contemporary music, reflected by a performance résumé that includes over 75 world premieres. In 2013, Ritenauer collaborated with the Manhattan School of Music to create a new master’s degree in Contemporary Conducting. Working with the MSM composition department, he led an unprecedented number of premiere performances in collaboration with its students.
A student of Maestro David Robertson, Ritenauer is a recent graduate of The Juilliard School’s Bruno Walter Conducting Program, where he received the Charles Schiff Conducting Prize. He owes much of his development as a musician to the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors, where he studied for nine summers with Michael Jinbo. Other cherished pedagogues include Kurt Masur, Leonard Slatkin, Robert Spano, and Tito Muñoz.
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