Dr. Koch is currently Music Director of Ozarks Lyric Opera, Music Director of the Missouri Philharmonic, Music Director of the Madrona Festival, Artistic Director designate for Neskowin Chamber Music, and a co-founder of the Ozarks Performing Arts League.  He also serves as Executive Director of Ozarks Lyric Opera and was formerly music director of the contemporary group Ensemble 21.  He has appeared as a guest conductor with orchestras across the United States, Australia, and Canada and is active nationally as an early music specialist (recorder) in recital, concerto, and conference performances.  Additionally, he has been privileged to work on projects or commissions with numerous composers including John Corigliano, Steven Stucky, Christopher Rouse, James Mobberley, Jonathan Newman, Nicolas Maw, Angelica Negron, Carlyle Sharpe, and DJ Sparr.  Koch also spent two decades in higher education, most recently at Drury University.  Under his direction, Drury ensembles toured regionally and performed at multiple state conferences, participated in composer commission projects, and were recognized nationally by the College Band Directors Association, the American Prize Competition, and by numerous granting organizations.  He received his Bachelor of Music degrees in flute performance and music education from the Eastman School of Music, Master of Music degrees in flute and orchestral conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, and the Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting from the University of Washington.  He is also a contributing author for the book series A Composer’s Insight: Thoughts, Analysis, and Commentary on Contemporary Masterpieces for Wind Band (Meredith Music Publications) and resides in Oregon with his wife Danielle and daughter Ella.

After an extensive three-year search process prolonged due to the Covid pandemic, the Juneau Symphony is pleased to announce that Dr. Christopher Koch has been selected as the next Juneau Symphony Music Director.

Dr. Koch is currently the Music and Executive Director of Ozarks Lyric Opera and is active nationally as an early music specialist (recorder) in recital, concerto, and conference performances. He has appeared as a guest conductor with orchestras across the United States, Australia, and Canada.  Koch also spent two decades in higher education, most recently at Drury University.  He received his Bachelor of Music degrees in flute performance and music education from the Eastman School of Music, Master of Music degrees in flute and orchestral conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, and the Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting from the University of Washington.  He resides in Oregon with his wife Danielle and daughter Ella.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be the Symphony’s next music director!  From the moment I arrived in Juneau, I knew I’d landed in a special place and genuinely loved my time with the orchestra and community.  I can’t wait to begin this new journey together.”

Beth Pendleton and Kristin Garot, Co-Chairs of the Search Committee thank the musicians and community for their input in the selection process. “ The committee reviewed almost 50 qualified applicants, narrowed the field to the top three finalists, scheduled audition concerts, and gathered input through audience, musician, and chorus surveys. Due to Covid, two of the finalists were able to conduct concerts with the orchestra and after an extended three-year process we now have a new Music Director.” said Garot. 

“We are so pleased with the collaborative process and believe that Dr. Koch will provide great leadership to the organization on the podium and in the community, “ added Pendleton.

Executive Director, Charlotte Truitt shared the excitement about the selection. “Dr. Koch brings to the organization a perfect blend of dynamic podium skills, high artistic standards, and a heart for engagement with the community. We are thrilled to have Dr. Koch leading the orchestra and are looking forward to amazing concerts for the remaining 2021-2022 season and beyond as we celebrate our 60th Anniversary during the 2022-2023 season.” 

Dr. Koch was introduced as the new Music Director at the Symphony’s November Annual Business Meeting and preparations for his first concert with the orchestra on January 29 & 30, 2022 are underway. 

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