Aaron Kaplan

Preludio Orchestra Director
Program Area: 
Youth Orchestras
With Music Institute of Chicago since: 
2015
Education: 

Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2013

Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011

Bachelor of Music Education (Instrumental), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011

Significant teachers and mentors: 

Blake Brasch, cello (at MIC!) Carl Meyer, high school orchestra teacher Brandon Vamos, cello Donald Schleicher, conducting

Teaching philosophy and areas of expertise: 

When working with young musicians, I believe it is my job to introduce them to the great composers and the large cannon of repertoire that classical music offers. The idea that I try to convey to the students is to "play the music, not the notes". Through hard work and practice, my goal is to have the students enjoy making great music and to have fun while doing so.

Awards and achievements: 

Distinguished Teacher Nominee, Glenbrook North High School, 2015 Graduate Assistantship, University of Illinois School of Music, 2011-2013 Theodore Presser Award in Music, University of Illinois School of Music, 2010 Isabelle Purnell Education Award, The Illinois Club, University of Illinois, 2010 Music Education Division Achievement Award, University of Illinois School of Music, 2009 String Division Achievement Award, University of Illinois School of Music, 2008 & 2010 FAA Talented Student Scholarship, University of Illinois School of Music, 2007-2011

Professional affiliations & activities: 

Orchestra Director, Glenbrook North & Glenbrook South High School, 2013-present Interim Conductor, Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestras, 2013-2014 Music Director/Conductor, Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony & Community Orchestra, 2012-2013 Cellist, Heartland Festival Orchestra, 2011-present Cellist, Sinfonia da Camera, 2008-2013 Conducting/Cello Faculty, Chicago Suzuki Institute, 2013-present Cello Camp Co-Headmaster, Illinois Summer Youth Music, 2009-2013

Interests outside of music: 

I am a huge advocate of musical theater and spend lots of my free time music-directing musicals, as well as writing arrangements and orchestrations for friends and colleagues in the field.

Favorite quote: 

"Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable." - Leonard Bernstein

Favorite practice tip: 

Practice slowly. Always slowly.

Favorite composer or piece to play: 

Beethoven and Mahler Symphonies

Favorite musical moment: 

Conducting the opening night for "The Nutcracker" (for Champaign Urbana Ballet) when the conductor did not show up, with 30 seconds notice!