The Heartland Symphony Orchestra has hired Joseph Schlefke of Minneapolis as music director.
Schlefke takes over the director's podium from Richard Haglund, who left the Heartland Symphony earlier this year.
Schlefke also is beginning his first full season as music director of the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra after receiving the appointment last December and after serving as the apprentice conductor for the two preceding years.
Recently, he spent two years as associate conductor for the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies, working with both the Symphony Orchestra and Concert Orchestra and acting as principal conductor of the Chamber Orchestra. In 2001 he toured with the GTCYS Symphony Orchestra to China, where he conducted performances in Beijing and Shanghai.
This past year he was a guest conductor for the Buffalo Community Orchestra, as well as interim instructor of music at Augsburg College, teaching Conducting and Early Music History. He was also with The Minnesota Opera for three seasons acting as music director and conductor of the Midwest Educational Tour, conducting the touring productions of "Madame Butterfly," "The Marriage of Figaro" and "The Barber of Seville," and serving as music director for the Faerie Tale Opera program.
In 2000, Schlefke was invited to be assistant conductor for the Berkshire Opera Co. in Massachusetts. He has worked with the Great Lakes Opera Co. of Milwaukee and has been assistant conductor for the Minnesota Opera, the Moraine Symphony Orchestra and the Lakeshore Symphonic Band. In addition, he is a frequent lecturer and clinician around the area, working with adult and youth orchestras and educating people of all ages about music.
Schlefke has a master of music degree with an emphasis in orchestral conducting from the University of Minnesota, where he served as a conductor for the Opera Theater, conducted the university orchestras and premiered a number of student compositions. He has participated in workshops with the American Symphony Orchestra League and the Conductors Institute of South Carolina.
Schlefke earned his bachelor of music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and is a native of West Bend, Wis.
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