Andrew Koehler is currently the music director of the Kalamazoo Philharmonia, which he leads as part of his position as an assistant professor of music at Kalamazoo College. He holds a concurrent post as music director of the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra, and is a frequent guest at the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra, where he covers rehearsals for music director Scott Speck. This season, guest conducting appearances will take Andrew to destinations as diverse as Vermont and Kyiv, Ukraine.
Previous music directorships have included the Chamber Orchestra of the University of Chicago (which, under his direction, the Hyde Park Herald called the “most wonderful orchestra in recent memory”) as well as the Akademisches Sinfonie-Orchester of Vienna, Austria. He has led guest performances of the North Shore Chamber Orchestra, the University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and, with only a weekend’s notice, the American Opera Group Orchestra in Chicago. He has additionally led ensembles under the auspices of the Aspen Music Festival, the Conductor’s Festival at Bard College, and the 2006 Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition, where he advanced to the final round and won the audience favorite prize. Most recently, he organized and conducted a concert with the Arcato Chamber Ensemble, made up of musicians from the Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids Symphonies. The group’s premiere performance was hailed as “…exceptional under his baton” by the Kalamazoo Gazette.
Born in Philadelphia to Ukrainian parents, Andrew began his musical studies on the violin at the age of five. He is a graduate of Yale College, where he completed a B.A. in Music and German Studies (graduating with honors and distinction in both majors). During his time there, he served as assistant conductor of the Yale Symphony Orchestra and won the Seldin Memorial Prize in Music. He holds a certificate in conducting from the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, where he studied for two years as a Fulbright scholar, as well as a Masters degree from Northwestern University. His principal teachers have been Victor Yampolsky and Leopold Hager; he has additionally worked with David Zinman, Michael Stern, Jorma Panula, and Mariss Jansons, among others.