A tradition of excellence.
The oldest community orchestra in the United States, the St. Paul JCC Symphony Orchestra, recently celebrated its 90th year! With a tradition of excellence, our 45 piece volunteer orchestra practices and performs arrangements selected by director and conductor, Amir Kats who is beginning his sixth season leading the St. Paul JCC ’s Symphony Orchestra.
Amir Kats is in his sixth season as conductor of the St. Paul JCC’s Symphony. He is also orchestra director at FAIR School Downtown and Harvest Preparatory Academy, both in Minneapolis. He previously served five years as Artistic Director and Symphony Conductor of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies. Earlier engagements include the Albuquerque and Santa Fe Youth Symphonies, Gemini Youth Orchestras (Long Island), New York Youth Symphony, and the Julliard School’s Music Advancement Program serving urban learners.
In Minnesota, he has conducted and given clinics at numerous schools and honors ensembles, was the 2012-13 Minnesota Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra conductor, and will be the 2014 Minnesota String and Orchestra Teachers Association Mid-Level Honors Orchestra Conductor. He has conducted at the internationally-renowned Interlochen Arts Camp, Allegro Orchestra Camp, and Rocky Ridge Music Center, in such venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Teatro Amazonas in Brazil, and had led numerous world premieres through-out the United States.
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 was raised in the United States in a musical family, the son and grandson of pianists. A recipient of the 2010 MN String and Orchestra Teachers Association Community Service Award, he is dedicated to bringing out the musical best from any ensemble with which he works, and to sharing music with as wide an audience as possible.
Presented by the Marvin J. Pertzik Jewish Cultural Arts Department, which is generously supported, in part, by St. Paul JCC Endowment Funds.