Academy Artistic Director
Academy Orchestra Conductor
Private conducting lessons
Master's in Opera Direction, Cleveland Institute of Music
Bachelor's with Distinction and Performer's Certificate in Clarinet, Eastman School of Music
Mr. Setapen is currently the Director of the Academy and Conductor-in-Residence at the Music Institute of Chicago. From 1988 - 2007, he was Music Director and Conductor of the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra.
He has also guest conducted many orchestras and opera companies throughout the country, including those of Denver, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Orlando, and Honolulu. He has also conducted in several cities in Italy, Germany, and Austria.
Jim also won his first prize in the Oakland Symphony's American Conductor's Competition.
Additional accomplishments include: Samuel Jones - Roundings (Naxos)
Special music interests
I love a broad range of classical music (symphonic, chamber, opera, Lieder, piano music, concerti, etc.) and the Beatles, Beach Boys, Nina Simone, Dixieland jazz, Bebop, and The Little Mermaid
Recent guest engagements have included:
Milwaukee Symphony, the Park Ridge Fine Arts Symphony, the Northbrook and Racine orchestras, University of Chicago Orchestra
Music Director of Summer Music Monterey - worked with the youth orchestras of Oakland, Denver, and Amarillo
Recently the guest conductor for the Vermont All-State Orchestra, the Milwaukee High School Honors Orchestra, and the Northeast Kansas Honors Orchestra
Setapen has also been on the faculty of the Conductor's Institute at Bard College in New York
Formerly on Board of Directors of the International Conductors Guild, and of the Illinois Council of Orchestras Member - League of American Orchestras, Conductors Guild
A few favorite things:
Charles Chaplin, Mozart's letters, Italian food, Dennis Wheatley novels, teaching young people
April 16, 1999 - the first time I conducted my daughter in a solo work, my son in a youth orchestra, and my wife in a professional orchestra - all on the same concert.
What I love about conducting:
I love sharing my thoughts and enthusiasm about the pieces I am conducting, and seeing students bring them to life. There is so much to think of as one is conducting! It is a total immersion into music making and responding to other performers.