• Conductors

    Get to know our conductor


    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 Szombathely, 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.




    Michelle Di Russo

    Interim Director of Orchestras for 2021-2022

    Michelle Di Russo is a recipient of the 2020 American Austrian Foundation/Faber Young Conductors Fellowship and has joined the Chicago Sinfonietta Project Inclusion since their 2020/2021 season. She recently graduated with a doctoral degree in orchestral conducting from Arizona State University, where she served as assistant conductor for the ASU Symphony Orchestra and Opera Lyric Theatre. Dedicated to the music of our time, in 2019 Di Russo participated as a Conducting Fellow in the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Cortona Sessions for New Music in Italy, and with the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” Di Russo has also worked with the Phoenix Youth Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Musicfest, Silicon Valley Symphony, and Charleston Symphony. She holds a master of music degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Kentucky and a degree in orchestral conducting from the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina.

  • Previous Conductors


    Guest conductors

    Katherine Kilburn [interim director 2019-2020]

    Adrian Slywotzky [interim director Spring 2019]

    Kisun Sung [interim director Spring 2016]

    Rachel Lauber [interim director Spring 2011]

    CJT [guest conductor of CSO Spring 2008]

    Scott Tucker [guest conductor of CCO Spring 2008]



    Previous conductors

    2000 - 2004 John Hsu

     about his final concert

     about his teaching

     his bio on music dept website


    1975 - 1999 Edward Murray

     about his teaching

     remembrance concert


    1954 - 1975 Karel Husa

     about his teaching

     90th birthday concert

     Cornell Sun on his first concert at Cornell


    1950 - 1954 Robert Hull

    (if you have info please contact us)


    1947 - 1950 missing information

    (if you have info please contact us)


    1943 - 1947? John M. Kuypers

    (if you have info please contact us)


    1941 - 1942 Ronald Ingalls

    he conducted the Sinfonietta beginning from 1936 but took over after Coleman retired

    (if you have more info please contact us)


    1905 - 1941 George L. Coleman

     article about the founding of the orchestra

     his final concert


    List of all Cornell Orchestra concerts from 1905 - current (We do have missing info, if you have the information you can share with us to complete this list, please contact us).