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Luther College Symphony Orchestra
The Luther College Symphony Orchestra, Luther’s largest and oldest orchestral ensemble, maintains an active rehearsal and performance schedule during the academic year. More than seventy student musicians, representing a variety of academic disciplines, perform with Symphony Orchestra. Many members to also sing in a choir, play in a band or jazz ensemble, and form small chamber groups. Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Daniel Baldwin.
In addition to regular concerts featuring masterworks of the orchestral literature, Symphony Orchestra takes great pride in performing new music on a regular basis. Since 2001, the orchestra has been pleased to present six world premiers. The orchestra also collaborates with the Luther College choirs in biennial performances of major choral-orchestral works and in the annual Christmas at Luther festival performances.
Symphony Orchestra tours annually in the United States and every four years maintains a three-week residency in Vienna, Austria, with a final performance at the Wiener Konzerthaus or Musikverein. Domestic tours have included trips through the Pacific Northwest, the Great Plains States, the Southeast, and the Upper Midwest. Since 1997, the Luther Symphony Orchestra has completed sixteen American tours.
In addition to off-campus tour performances, Symphony Orchestra performs a full-length fall concert, two full-length spring concerts, is featured at Christmas at Luther, and is included in the Homecoming and Commencement Weekend concerts.
Daniel Baldwin, conductor
Daniel Baldwin is head of the music department and since 1997 has served as director of orchestral activities at Luther College. Baldwin earned the bachelor of music (cello) degree from Furman University and master of music (cello) and doctor of musical arts (orchestral conducting) degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to his arrival at Luther, Baldwin served as director of orchestral activities at Central Washington University (Ellensburg, Washington).
Baldwin received his formal training in string pedagogy as a teacher in the University of Texas String Project, perhaps the most comprehensive program of its kind in North America. Phyllis Young, director of the String Project for 35 years, was Baldwin's cello teacher during his studies at the University of Texas. He studied conducting with Henry Charles Smith, Cornelius Eberhardt, Sung Kwak, Walter Ducloux, and Fiora Contino.
Baldwin has served as music director of the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra and the Transylvania Youth Orchestra of the Brevard (North Carolina) Music Center, the largest summer music festival in the South. A 1991 conducting fellow of the Conductor's Institute of the University of South Carolina and formerly a cellist with the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, Baldwin maintains an active schedule as a clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor. Since 2007 he has served as musical and artistic director for the Lake Chelan Bach Fest in North Central Washington state.
On five occasions since 1997 Baldwin has traveled to Europe with the Luther College Symphony Orchestra, enjoying month-long January residencies in Vienna, Austria, and performing in such venues as the Bruckner Conservatory in Linz and the Vienna Konzerthaus. The Orchestra returns to Vienna in 2019 and will perform their final concert at the Musikverein. The Luther College Symphony also tours annually in the United States. Since 1997, Baldwin and the Luther Symphony have completed sixteen American tours, performing in at least 20 states.