A tradition of excellence
One of the oldest community orchestras in the United States, the St. Paul JCC Symphony Orchestra has a 90+ year tradition of excellence! Our 45-piece, volunteer orchestra practices and performs classical and modern repertoire selected by music director and conductor, Amir Kats, who is in his seventh season leading the St. Paul JCC’s Symphony Orchestra. All performances are free and open to the public.
Amir Kats is in his seventh season as conductor of the St. Paul JCC’s Symphony. He is also orchestra and band teacher at Blake Middle School in Hopkins, and conductor of the Roseville String Ensemble. 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 Juilliard 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 was 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 has 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.