Get to know our conductors
Chris Younghoon Kim
Director of Orchestras
Passionate about working with young musicians and music education, Chris Younghooon Kim is the Director of Orchestras at Cornell University and is an active adjudicator, guest clinician, and masterclass teacher. The League of American Orchestras and ASCAP have awarded the first place award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music to the Cornell Orchestras among all collegiate orchestras in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. With the Cornell Orchestras he has led international tours and joint collaborations with the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico. Before coming to Cornell, Chris was active in the new music scene in Boston conducting the Firebird Ensemble and the Kalistos Chamber Orchestra. Since 1997 he has been the Artistic Director of the new music ensemble Brave New Works in Ann Arbor, Michigan one of America’s most innovative and progressive ensembles. He has appeared with orchestras in the United States and abroad, including ensembles such as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Delta Festival Ballet, Symphoria based in Syracuse, NY, Divertimento Ensemble of Milan, Italy. He has also appeared in music festivals such as, Kinhaven Music Center, Skaneateles Music Festival, International Bartok Festival in Szaombarthely, Hungary among others. He is an active promoter of music of our time, and has collaborated with dozens of composers, and commissioned and premiered numerous new works. He was recently chosen to be one of three young conductors to appear at the Ensemble Moderne Academy in Innsbruck, Austria being mentored by members of Ensemble Moderne at the 2012 Klangspuren new music festival. He has also been chosen as one of four conductors to take part in the College Orchestra Directors Association’s Ibermusicas initiative in 2014, and will guest conduct Orquesta Sinfónica del Neuquén, Patagonia, Argentina. In 2008, he made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut as part of Royal Irish Academy Chamber Orchestra’s East Coast Tour of the United States with a world premiere of Evan Chambers’s Concerto for Violin, Irish fiddle and string orchestra.
Interim Orchestra Director, CSO
Adrian Slywotzky is a recent prizewinner of the Atlantic Coast International Conducting Competition (Portugal, 2016) and the Audite International Conducting Competition (Poland, 2017). He was the founding conductor of the Yale Medical Symphony Orchestra, and from 2007 to 2010 music director of the New Haven Chamber Orchestra.
Adrian serves as Associate Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, as a teaching fellow for the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, and on the faculty of the Conductors Retreat at Medomak. He was conductor of the Greater New Haven Youth Orchestra for 2008-2010, and was invited to direct the Rhode Island All-State Orchestra in 2013. For five years Adrian was Director of Instrumental Music at Hopkins School in New Haven, CT, and he has taught at Neighborhood Music School, Elm City ChamberFest, and the Southern Maine String Camp.
An avid exponent of contemporary music, Adrian directed the world premiere of Hugo Kauder’s magnum opus, the opera Merlin. As a conductor for Yale’s New Music New Haven concert series, he led performances of music by David Felder, Tom Johnson, David Lang, and Bernard Rands, as well as premieres of numerous works by graduate student composers.
Adrian holds degrees in orchestral conducting from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Kenneth Kiesler, and the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Shinik Hahm. As a violinist Adrian has participated in festivals including Tanglewood Music Center, California Summer Music, and the Norfolk Contemporary Music Festival. He holds a BA in architecture from Yale College, where he studied violin with Kyung Yu, and an MM in violin performance from the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Wendy Sharp.
Interim Orchestra Director, CCO
Timna Mayer’s expertise in violin pedagogy stems from a lifetime of dedication to the
instrument that began in her hometown of Salzburg, Austria. Beginning her undergraduate work at Mozarteum University, she finished her Bachelor’s degree at Ithaca College in May, 2015. For over three years, Mayer offered supplemental violin lessons there as a teaching assistant to professors Nicholas DiEugenio and Susan Waterbury while studying. During this appointment, she curated a highly individualized teaching approach intent upon helping the student practice and realize musical achievements autonomously. With the string department on her side, Mayer started her own group scale classes, bringing all string instruments together in a setting of peer-to-peer teaching centered on tone production. Many of her teaching methods from this period have been documented and subsequently accolated for their effectiveness and originality, namely by the International Fund, which continues to support Mayer’s pedagogical research in the United States. Mayer’s unique approach to problem solving in the practice room and rehearsal derives from her experience in numerous musical settings and teaching styles. As a young musician, she led orchestras as concertmaster through various tours throughout Europe,
absorbing a tradition of playing from its original source. However, her most influential
mentor, Jürgen Geise (former student of Max Rostal) allowed Mayer the space to develop her own voice, drawing from less conventional sources of inspiration.
In May 2017, Mayer completed her Master's degree in Violin Performance at Ithaca College, during which study she frequently performed chamber music with respected performers, including professors Sara Haefeli and David Quiggle. In addition to actively performing and teaching as a graduate student, Mayer also conducted research funded by Ithaca College. The subject of her research, in brief, was to generate practice techniques from the analysis of bilateral cognitive (hemispheric) processing. Mayer’s unique perspective allows her to demonstrate the longevity of the violin as it extends to other art forms. In film, her references to jazz, folk styles, and frequent implementation of improvisation have been used by maker, Karen Rodriguez in her short 2 film, Dance, and currently she is creating a soundtrack with maker, Bo Wang. Presently, she and Ishion Hutchison of Cornell University team together to program the violin with newly-composed poetry in a modern exploitation of music with literature. Over the last years, Mayer has introduced several original projects of great success, both at Cornell University and Ithaca College, that teach students to learn from each other through leadership exercises and collaborative practice. She initiated a recurring “Violin Boot Camp” at both schools where professors from both institutions give leadership workshops in small groups, capitalizing on one technical challenge as the vehicle for group teaching. Her “Living Room” concert series brings musicians of all levels and instruments together on stage to make music and take initiative in the moment, much like they would if they played together at their homes. In a large group setting, Mayer invented the “Double Concertmaster Initiative”, which in its essence synchronizes the orchestra by appointing two concertmasters that are scattered through the section to encourage active communication between players from the first to last desk. Besides teaching violin, Mayer has functioned as assistant to the orchestras at Cornell since 2017. Presently, she teaches her studio of collegiate violin students at Cornell University.
2000 - 2004 John Hsu
1975 - 1999 Edward Murray
1954 - 1975 Karel Husa
1950 - 1954 Robert Hull
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1947 - 1950 missing information
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1943 - 1947? John M. Kuypers
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1941 - 1942 Ronald Ingalls
he conducted the Sinfonietta beginning from 1936 but took over after Coleman retired
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1905 - 1941 George L. Coleman