Jon Kalbfleisch enjoys a multi-faceted musical life as a conductor, pianist, award-winning music director, freelance musician and organist. Having conducted ballet, opera, symphonic music, choral works, contemporary music and Broadway musicals, he has an interest in a wide range of musical styles. In Oklahoma, after five years as its music director and conductor, he has guided the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra to newfound heights both in terms of artistic success and community outreach. Symphony magazine recently highlighted the LPO’s Art Inspired by Music project; local students inspired by the music of Beethoven created some 4,000 original artworks. Previously, Jon was guest conductor for the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra Pops at the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival, and he conducted the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute Orchestra at Quartz Mountain.
Maestro Kalbfleisch also conducted the Louise D. McMahon International Piano Competition held at Cameron University, and the Bradetich International Double Bass Competition at the University of North Texas. Jon received a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Cameron University, and a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. While in Dallas as a student of Anshel Brusilow, Jon was Assistant Conductor of the SMU Symphony and Music Director of the Perspective Chamber Ensemble, pianist for the Dallas Ballet, and accompanist for the Dallas Opera. Jon was also a finalist in a number of conducting competitions.
Since relocating to the Washington DC area, Jon has been a twenty one-time nominee and five-time recipient of the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Musical Direction. As resident music director of the Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre, he has conducted over 1000 performances of some thirty musicals including Sweeney Todd, Follies, A Little Night Music and 110 in the Shade. Nationally, Kalbfleisch was Associate Conductor for the touring company of Les Miserables, which included a stop on Broadway. He was Music Director for Putting it Together at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
On television, Jon has appeared conducting for Alan Jackson on Good Morning America. In Washington, Mr. Kalbfleisch was recently music director for the Library of Congress 50th Anniversary Concert of West Side Story, as well as music director and co-conductor for Gilbert Mead: A Celebration at the Kennedy Center. He can be heard on the 2009 Grammy-nominated recording of Bernstein’s Mass playing piano with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He has also played and/ or conducted at Wolf Trap (with the National Symphony Orchestra), Carnegie Hall (with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) The National Theatre, The Warner Theatre, The White House, The Smithsonian Institute, The National Building Museum, and The US Supreme Court. As an accompanist, Jon has had the great pleasure of playing with artists such as David Kim, Frederica von Stade and Lynn Harrell.