The Boston Globe recently wrote, "Altenbach built the drama with such point and purpose, it was as if Rossini were creating a new art form." Conductor and pianist Andrew Altenbach, critically acclaimed for his deep sense of musical style and nuance, persistently utilizes his deep passion for musical creation, extensive performance background, and personal drive to enrich the experiences of audiences and performers alike. With a repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary works, his "conducting that emphasizes details and care" continues to garner attention as a musical leader of his generation.
Fueled by a wide variety of musical experiences, Mr. Altenbach offers consistent success and energetic ingenuity in his operatic conducting to present compelling live theater. With extensive experience as an operatic coach, Altenbach also holds a true affinity for collaborating with singers. He begins his third season as Music Director of Opera at the Boston Conservatory as well as his second season as Artistic Director of the Boston Opera Collaborative. He recently guest conducted at Opera Birmingham, Opera Africa, Indiana University Opera Theatre, and the Temple University Opera Theatre. He also made conducting appearances for the Milwaukee Opera Theatre and Opera on the James. Previously, Altenbach served as the associate conductor of both Central City Opera and Minnesota Opera. While in residence with both companies, Altenbach conducted many performances while also assuming the role of each company's chorus master. He also music directed Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Opera to rave reviews.
Mr. Altenbach has held coaching and conducting staff positions with several prestigious American opera companies, including the Santa Fe Opera, Music Academy of the West, Cincinnati Opera, and the San Francisco Opera Merola Program.
Recently, Mr. Altenbach guest conducted at the Memphis and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras while continuing a fruitful cover conductor relationship with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. As Artistic Director, Altenbach conducted the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra for two successful seasons. Under his direction, the orchestra presented several cross-disciplinary concerts: A Night of Dance, featuring Copland's Appalachian Spring and live dance; and Music Inspired By Art, featuring Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition with a visual art exhibit. Mr. Altenbach also music directed the Bach Chamber Players, specializing in choral works and exploring such works as the Stravinsky Mass, Durufle Requiem, Mozart Requiem, and Bach's St. Matthew Passion.
Mr. Altenbach has also conducted the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Minneapolis Musical Offering Series, Brevard Music Center Orchestra, and Grand Harmonie, a Boston/NY-based ensemble dedicated to performing Classical and Romantic repertoire on period instruments. . He has served as associate conductor of the world renowned Grand Teton Music Festival under Donald Runnicles and continued to assist him at the Atlanta Symphony. He previously held posts as music director for the North Shore Chamber Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, assistant conductor to the Evanston Symphony, and Conducting Fellow of the prestigious Chautauqua Institution.
Mr. Altenbach's most recent venture also includes Artistic Director and conductor of the Minnesota Bach Ensemble, a chamber orchestra dedicated to performing Baroque and Classical music with players from the Minnesota Orchestra. Their debut concerts this past winter and spring were met with rave reviews.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Altenbach received degrees from Northwestern and Indiana Universities. While studying at Indiana, Altenbach became the first student in the school's history to music direct for the opera department, and his conducting of Mozart's Così fan tutte earned him recognition in OperaNow magazine under "Who's Hot." His conducting teachers include David Effron and Victor Yampolsky; he studied piano with Karen Shaw, Martin Katz, and Alan Chow.
Mr. Altenbach currently resides in Boston with his wife, Julia, who teaches high school Spanish and enjoys dancing Flamenco, and their son, Henry. Mr. Altenbach enjoys biking, movies, studying foreign languages, reading, and, most of all, spending time with his family.