European and US
Background & Formation
Maestra Kim Diehnelt has been called “a renaissance woman” for her diligent efforts to bring beauty into the world through her work as both an international conductor and accomplished composer. Trained in the US and Europe, Maestra Diehnelt established her craft as conductor and composer in both Finland and Switzerland, leading Baltic, Russian, and European ensembles. In Helsinki, Maestra Diehnelt founded the Helsinki Camerata, a group dedicated to a chamber music approach to orchestral performance.
Maestra Diehnelt has been composing works for solo instruments, chamber, orchestral and choral ensembles since 2011. Her style is best described as a “Nordic Palestrina” as her works possess a lyrical, vocal quality with an attention to beauty and the sense of an unfolding story. She has garnered critical acclaim through recent world premieres in both New York and Chicago.
Music Director and
Southwest Minnesota Orchestra,
Lakeside Pride Orchestra, South Loop Symphony, Chicago Reading Orchestra,
Helsinki Community College Orchestra and Musicology Department of Helsinki
University (Director of Chamber Music).
American Opera Group, Die Fledermaus (2006)
American Chamber Opera, Madame Butterfly (2013)
Chicago Folks Operetta, Land of Smiles (2013)
Main Street Opera, Beethoven’s Fidelio (2014)
Maestra Diehnelt is an active guest conductor in the
United States and abroad. She received strong praise for her interpretation of
the music of Sibelius as Guest Conductor of the Orquestra Sinfónica de
Aguascalientes (Mexico). Further guest conducting experience includes:
South Bohemian Chamber Orchestra, Seinäjoki Symphony
Orchestra (Finland), Waukegan Symphony Orchestra (IL), Rose City Chamber
Orchestra (OR), Civic Orchestra (Chicago, IL), Marshall Area Youth Orchestra
(MN), Suburban Youth Symphony Orchestra (IL), VanderCook College of Music
Orchestra (Chicago, IL) and Aspen Music Festival.
Artistic Director: Sounds of the South Loop
Composition and World Premieres
Maestra Diehnelt’s composition has quickly found world
premieres and is reaching widening audiences through repeated performances.
In 2015, Maestra Diehnelt was selected as Semi-finalist for The American Prize in Composition –
Professional Orchestra division.
for solo piano, premiered July 2011 in Amsterdam with pianist Anne Ku, and
shortly thereafter joined the repertoire of 21st century American composers.
International piano artist Avguste Antonov continues to perform this work
throughout the world.
In October 2011,
the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra (IL) premiered Caprio for oboe and strings with oboist Joni Day.
The west coast premiere was given by the Community Women's Orchestra in Oakland, CA in May 2016.
In it's quartet version, Caprio received performances in Chicago (Metropolis Oboe Quartet) and in
New York (Face the Music) in January 2015.
The Chicago Cello
Society premiered Postscript for solo
cello in concert May 2012, and Stile Antico for five-voice cello ensemble,
Violist Michael Hall performed the world premiere (Arlington Hts.
IL) and encore performance at Orchestra Hall (Chicago, IL) of Montegar for viola and strings in the
spring of 2014.
April 2015 the Rensselaer Concert Choir (Troy, NY) premiered Si Vis Amari Ama.
commissioned work Wintram for unaccompanied cello premiered in May, 2016. Cellist Lucie Ticho
performed two Chicago concerts, receiving critical praise, "It was a smashing success for cellist and composer alike."
Maestra Diehnelt discusses the craft of composition in a featured podcast
at Composer On Fire: Kim Diehnelt on Mastering Composing Through Conducting
Maestra Diehnelt's oeuvre show a refined use of time and gesture,
frequently employing counterpoint and modern-modal tonalities within a succinct
Acknowledged as an authority on the music of Edward
Elgar, the Elgar Society in England has sponsored Maestra Diehnelt’s conducting of
Elgar’s Symphony No.1, the tone-poem, In
the South, and the Cockaigne Overture. In 2010, Maestra Diehnelt was
invited to be a founding member of the North America Branch of the Elgar
Conducting Repertoire and Contemporary Composers
Maestra Diehnelt’s vast conducting and coaching repertoire covers the works of American, European and Nordic composers. Additionally, she has worked with contemporary composers Bjorn Berkhout, Ivan Božicevic, Sebastian Huydts, Angel Lam, Libby Larsen, Rami Levin, Stephen Paulus, Marjorie Rusche, Dale Trumbore, and Roberto Sierro.
Maestra Diehnelt’s pacing and style reflect an inherent understanding
of rhetoric and dramatic flow. She has been praised for her “unusual talent to
communicate through the orchestra to her audience”. A discerning essayist and
energetic public speaker, Maestra Diehnelt also presents her well-received and
innovative Classical Connoisseur© program, a wine-tasting approach to music,
and serves as an occasional commentator on classical radio.
“An iconoclast for