2013-14 marks Maestro Jere Lantz's 34th season as the Music Director and conductor of the Rochester Symphony Orchestra & Chorale. Maestro Lantz holds a Doctorate in Music Arts from Yale University. Along with the RSOC he is conductor of the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra, the Minnetonka Choral Society and serves as choir director at Westminster Presbyterian Church in downtown Minneapolis. In Minnesota he has served as Music Director of the symphonies in St. Cloud, Mankato and Winona as well as the Minneapolis Chamber Symphony. He was Associate Music Director of the Minnesota Opera and founding Music Director of the Minnesota Opera Touring Company. As a guest conductor, he has led concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Bach Society, Oratorio Society and Minnesota Chorale. Beyond Minnesota he has appeared with the St. Louis Symphony, Rochester New York Philharmonic, New Hampshire Music Festival and the orchestras of Kansas City, Santa Cruz, Huntsville, Syracuse, Shreveport, and Chattanooga, among others. Internationally he has directed orchestras in Medellin, Colombia, Shenzhen, Wuha and Peking, China. In 2008, he conducted concerts in Scotland and Italy. Lantz has presented at international symphony orchestra conferences, before the Minnesota State Legislature and in countless radio and television interviews. A former board member of the League of American Orchestras Guild, the American Composers Forum, and the Minnesota Public Radio Community Advisory Committee, he was named 2003 artist of the year by the Southeastern MN Arts Council.
At each concert, Lantz demonstrates that experience combined with enthusiasm can lead to ever deeper and richer artistic performance, and a heightened enjoyment for the audience. Known for telling the story behind the music with knowledge and wit, his concert lectures are hailed as both enjoyable and informative. One audience member stated once, "...when he speaks it's as if Jere knew the composer personally." He has written concert program notes for hundreds of his own concerts as well as for other orchestras nationally and internationally. Maestro Lantz has a knack for relating the periods and personalities of great music to other historical and artistic events as well as to contemporary American life. From young to old, he helps his audiences connect the essence of music to what matters most.