Dedicated to engaging audiences and performers of all ages with the transforming power of orchestral music, BENJAMIN KLEMME leads an active career as a conductor and educator. As Associate Conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, he conducts pops and family concerts, serves as cover conductor for all subscription programs, and designs educational initiatives to inspire listeners and performers of all ages. He also conducts the Youth Symphony and Youth Philharmonic Orchestras as Music Director of the Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles. In addition to his work in the Quad Cities, Klemme is the Orchestra Conductor at Augsburg College (Minneapolis) and serves the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies as Concert Orchestra Conductor. Previously, he has held conducting posts at the National Repertory and Cleveland Pops Orchestras, University of Minnesota, Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association, and MacPhail Center for Music.
Klemme earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Minnesota, where he was a James Sample Conducting Fellow, led the Campus Orchestra program, and served as Assistant Conductor of the University Opera Theatre. He holds a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Northern Iowa. His principal conducting teachers include Mark Russell Smith, Carl Topilow, Louis Lane, Rebecca Burkhardt and Ronald Johnson.
Klemme's passion for and commitment to music education is displayed through his work both on and off the podium. He is currently involved in designing music education initiatives that connect community members throughout the Iowa and Illinois Quad Cities with opportunities to hear, perform, and engage with orchestral music in both traditional and innovative contexts. In New Mexico, he helped bring classical music to life for elementary and middle school students as Artistic Adviser and Outreach Concert Host for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival's "Music In Our Schools" program, and chaired the music department at New Mexico School for the Arts, a statewide, public, boarding high school for the arts. In Ohio he co-founded the Scordatura Chamber Orchestra, a Cleveland-based ensemble designed to support classroom learning objectives in language arts, math, science, and social studies through interactive orchestral performances.