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Daniel Kleinknecht, Conductor

Daniel Kleinknecht, Founder, Artistic Director & Conductor of Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre is also an associate professor of music at Mount Mercy University, and Resident Conductor of Orchestra Iowa. As founder of Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, he has led the company in performances of major operatic repertoire and under his leadership the company has received consecutive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and has been featured on several broadcasts on Iowa Public Television, and live performances on Iowa Public Radio. He has conducted:

  • Anchorage Opera
  • Manhattan Chamber Orchestra
  • Long Bay Symphony
  • Evansville Chamber Orchestra
  • Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra
  • members of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
  • Opera Illinois
  • Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia
  • The Philadelphia Singers
  • the Fort Dodge Symphony
  • the Hunter Symphony
  • the Hunter College Opera Theater
  • the Wayzata Symphony Orchestra
  • the Iowa City Community Orchestra
  • several national tours of Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors.
The Peoria Journal wrote, “With Kleinknecht at the podium, the sound was wonderfully hall-filling and alive with exceptional power and grace.” The Myrtle Beach Press said, “What was most impressive was Kleinknecht…he controlled every aspect of the music.”

An advocate of new music, Kleinknecht has commissioned and led premieres of works by Michael Daugherty (Flying Saucer), Nicolae Bratean (Golem), Edwin Penhorwood (Too Many Sopranos), and Theodore Gregoriu (Violin Concerto). Of the Gregoriu Violin Concerto premiere, the Indianapolis Star wrote, “the orchestra’s well-balanced assistance, for which Kleinknecht deserves a large share of the credit, also contributed handsomely.”
Dr. Kleinknecht has been a Conducting Fellow at the Aspen Music School and at Quebec’s Domaine Forget, and holds music degrees from Oberlin College, Indiana University, The University of Iowa where he conducted performances of the Opera Theatre and the Center for New Music. He is listed in the International Who’s Who in Music, and has had articles published in the American Choral Review and the Choral Journal. He has served on opera panels for the National Endowment for the Arts.

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