WSO welcomes new Music Director, Erik Rohde
The Winona Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Erik Rohde as the Symphony’s new Music Director and Conductor.
Rohde brings the skills and experience to maintain the high artistic standards of the Winona Symphony. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, where he studied with conductors Mark Russell Smith, Kathy Saltzman Romey, and Craig Kirchhoff and violin pedagogue Mark Bjork. Rohde also holds degrees in Violin Performance and Biomedical Engineering. As Music Director for the Winona Symphony, he will select repertoire for and conduct the Symphony in three concerts for the 2018-2019 season including a Fall Concert, a Children’s Concert, and a Spring Concert.
Rohde maintains a diverse career as a conductor, violinist, and educator, and has performed and conducted in recitals and festivals across the United States and in France, Austria, Italy, Hungary, and China. In addition to his responsibilities with the Winona Symphony, he is an Assistant Professor and Director of String Activities and Orchestra at Indiana State University and Artistic Director and Conductor for the Salomon Chamber Orchestra. He also performs with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra, the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, and is the violinist in the music duo sonic apricity.
A native of Rochester, Minn., Rohde graduated from Century High School, participated in the Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestras and Southeastern Minnesota Honors Choirs, was concertmaster of the Minnesota All-State Orchestra, and recently was one of several former prizewinners featured in the Rochester Music Guild’s 50th Anniversary Celebration recital.
“I’m incredibly honored to begin working with the musicians of the Winona Symphony Orchestra, and to have a chance to reconnect musically with the community where I grew up. I’ve always had a special tie to Minnesota, and am excited to be a part of the Winona Symphony’s long-standing tradition of being a part of this community,” said Rohde.
The Symphony’s final concert of the 2017-2018 season marked the organization’s 110th anniversary and the retirement of Music Director, Dr. Don Lovejoy. Dr. Lovejoy served as the Music Director for the Symphony since 2009. He was also the Director of Bands and Coordinator of Brass Studies at Winona State University. “Don brought a level of professionalism to the Symphony and raised our standard of performance. His choices of repertoire were widely received by the musicians and audiences. We are confident that Erik will continue engaging the community with this same level of quality,” said Tim Hornseth, Winona Symphony Board President.
Winona Symphony Orchestra enriches the Winona area with live performances of quality symphonic music, provides performing opportunities for talented area musicians, and promotes an appreciation of live classical music among young people. In its 2017-2018 season, the Symphony presented three concerts, provided performance opportunities to more than 40 local and regional musicians, and reached more than 1,200 area elementary students through an annual Children’s Concert. The 2018 Children’s Concert was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.