With a career that ranges from symphony to opera, Broadway to chamber music, Maestro Gerald Steichen has established himself as one of America’s most versatile conductors. He currently holds the positions of Music Director of Ballet West; Principal Pops Conductor of the Utah Symphony; Music Director of the Ridgefield Symphony (Connecticut); and Principal Pops Conductor of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. Steichen has guest conducted the Boston Pops and the New Jersey Symphony, as well as the symphonies of Naples, Florida; Portland, Oregon; the Florida Orchestra in Tampa; Cincinnati; Columbus, Oklahoma City, Hartford and the New York Pops. International appearances include the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the NDR Philharmonie Hannover and the Norwegian Radio Symphony.
During ten seasons with the New York City Opera, Steichen led performances including La bohème, L’elisir d’amore, Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, The Little Prince, and The Mikado. In 2007, he led the New York City Opera Orchestra and soloists in a live WQXR broadcast of Wall to Wall Opera from New York’s Symphony Space. A gifted pianist, he performed on stage for the New York City Opera’s acclaimed productions of Porgy and Bess and Carmina Burana. He has also conducted Utah Opera, Anchorage Opera, New Jersey Opera Theater, Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, NY, and Opera East Texas. Steichen toured nationally with The Phantom of the Opera, The Secret Garden, and Peter Pan and conducted CATS in New York for two years. He has also appeared on Broadway, portraying Manny, the Accompanist in the Tony Award-winning Master Class.
Originally from Tonkawa, Oklahoma, Maestro Steichen holds degrees from Northern Oklahoma College, Oklahoma City University and the University of Southern California. He resides in New York City.
Music Director Emeritus
Terence Kern graduated from the University of Wales and went on to study piano and conducting at the Guildhall School of Music in London. After studying with Nadia Boulanger and Constantin Silvestri, he won the school’s coveted Conductors Prize. Conducting became a calling that would take Kern around the world. He began his career as Staff Conductor for the Sadler’s Wells Opera Company (now the English National Opera). In 1972, he became Music Director for the London Festival Ballet and remained their Music Director for eight years. During this time, he made major ballet recordings for E.M.I. In 1980, he became the Music Director for the Scottish Ballet and later for the Joffrey Ballet. While working with the Joffrey Ballet, Kern also conducted most of the leading symphony orchestras in the United States. Kern has traveled the world as a freelance conductor. His freelance conducting positions with Ballet West led to a permanent position with the Company as Music Director and Principal Conductor, a position he held since 1988. In 2012, Kern transitioned to Music Director Emeritus.
Assistant Music Director
Jared Oaks, a native of Tacoma, Washington, is in his fifth season with Ballet West as Associate Conductor and Rehearsal Pianist. In addition to rehearsals, Jared has played for live performances at the Capitol Theater and classes at the Royal Danish Ballet, Balettakademien Stockholm, the Pacific Northwest Ballet Summer Course, the University of Utah, Regional Dance America (Pacific Region), Burklyn Ballet Theatre, and the Barlow Arts Conservatory. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance and a Master of Music degree in choral conducting under Ronald Staheli and Rosalind Hall. His piano teachers include Richard Anderson, Duane Hulbert, and Marjorie Skreen-Dickerson. Jared has continued his choral conducting studies through master classes taught by Dan-Olof Stenlund, Cecilia Rydinger Alin, and Christina Hornell at the College of Music in Malmo, Sweden; Erwin Ortner at the World Choral Symposium in Copenhagen; and Z. Randall Stroope at the University of Puget Sound. Recently, the American-Scandinavian Foundation awarded Jared a fellowship to research and create an anthology of Swedish operatic arias.
Principal Class / Associate Rehearsal Pianist
The Ballet West Orchestra
The Ballet West Orchestra was formed in 1978. Music for more intimate settings from the Chamber Orchestra literature was performed in venues that included St. Mark’s Cathedral‚ the Presbyterian Church and the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.
After 24 seasons with the Utah Symphony Orchestra‚ Donald Basinger endeavored to bring this literature to the community. After the Utah Chamber Orchestra was established‚ other musical organizations requested collaborative efforts to perform the great choral/orchestral literature. These included the Utah Symphony Chorus‚ Pro Musica‚ the Southern Utah Chorale‚ the University of Utah A Cappella Choir‚ Utah Opera‚ the Utah State University Choirs‚ and Classic Concerts‚ Inc. Performance venues included the Tabernacle on Temple Square‚ Abravanel Hall‚ the Capitol Theatre‚ the Salt Palace Convention Center‚ and many local churches.
In 1990‚ The Utah Chamber Orchestra began accompanying Ballet West in numerous productions. In 2014 the orchestra’s name was changed to the Ballet West Orchestra. The Orchestra performs for nearly 100 of Ballet West’s performances each year.