About

  Kim Diehnelt

Conductor. Composer.

Compelled to create beauty.


“For me, music is a poetic reading of time, where I work within time to create the opportunity for expressiveness, beauty, and poetic engagement, both within and between individuals.”  
 
Trained in the United States and Europe, Kim Diehnelt established her craft as conductor and composer in both Finland and Switzerland, leading Baltic, Russian, and European ensembles. In Helsinki, Kim founded the Helsinki Camerata, a group dedicated to a chamber music approach to orchestral performance.

Kim Diehnelt is currently the Conductor of the Me2/Burlington Orchestra in Burlington, VT.

Composer

Kim Diehnelt (ASCAP) has been composing works for solo instruments, chamber, orchestral and choral ensembles since 2011 when she "suddenly had something to say." 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 was a semi-finalist for The American Prize in Composition in the Professional Orchestra division in 2015 for her work Montegar for viola and strings.

Commissions and requests for Kim to create new music span a broad range of styles and ensembles; from symphonic to choral, mixed chamber ensemble and even handbell choir. Recent commissions include Striadica: A Symphonic Passage (2017) for the Lake Forest Civic Orchestra, Mourret (2018) for Clarinet and String Trio, Wintram (2015) for solo cello, and Timeless Grace (2018) for 2-Octave Handbell Choir.

Reviews of the premiere in May 2016 of Wintram for unaccompanied cello, a piece commissioned to pair with the Bach cello suites, called the work a “smashing success for cellist and composer alike.” 
 
In January 2015, the quartet version of Caprio saw performances in Chicago (Metropolis Oboe Quartet) and in New York (Face the Music). Performances of the full string-orchestra version include the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra premiere in 2011, the Women’s Community Orchestra, Oakland CA, in 2016 and the Northwest Symphony Orchestra, 2017.

Kim was named the KISMET Foundation’s 2018 Artist-in-Residence and created the work Yarmouth Time for Violin and Cello which captures the inspiration of Maine's natural beauty, dynamic winter climate, and the spirit of the town of Yarmouth, ME.
 

Conductor


An active conductor in the United States and abroad, she is acknowledged as an authority on the music of Edward Elgar. Diehnelt's pacing and style reflect an inherent understanding of rhetoric and dramatic flow, receiving praise for her "unusual talent to communicate through the orchestra to her audience."


Guest conducting includes: Orquestra Sinfónica de Aguascalientes (Mexico), Lake Forest Civic Orchestra (IL), South Bohemian Chamber Orchestra (Czech Republic), Seinäjoki Symphony Orchestra (Finland), Waukegan Symphony Orchestra (IL), Rose City Chamber Orchestra (OR), Civic Orchestra (Chicago, IL), VanderCook College of Music Orchestra (Chicago, IL) and Aspen Music Festival.

Diehnelt’s conducting activities include Music Director positions with the Helsinki Camerata, Helsinki Community College Orchestra, Southwest Minnesota Orchestra, South Loop Symphony, Chicago Reading Orchestra, and the Northwest Symphony Orchestra in the greater Chicago area.
 
As an opera and ballet conductor, Kim has led staged productions by Chicago Folks Operetta, American Chamber Opera, Main Street Opera (IL), Ensemble Warhol (Boston, MA), American Opera Group, Opera Millennium (MN), and Ragamala Music and Dance Theater (MN).

Other artistic activities include: Artistic Director of the Sounds of the South Loop in Chicago, and Director of Chamber Music at the Helsinki University.

Kim Diehnelt’s primary teachers have been Walter Hügler (Biel, Switzerland), and Atso Almila (Helsinki, Finland). She also received training at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, Biel Academy, Switzerland, and the Sibelius Academy and Helsinki Conservatory in Finland.


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