Meet Conductor Emeritus Lonnie Klein
From his inaugural concert with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra at New Mexico State University in October 1999, Music Director and Conductor Lonnie Klein has led the orchestra to new levels of artistic excellence, with high audience acclaim and rave reviews. Joseph Schwantner, noted American composer, said, “Lonnie’s industry and energy knows no bounds and he has propelled the orchestra into an ensemble that possesses great musical integrity and an ability to engage new and challenging music in a manner that is truly exceptional.”
In addition to an extensive regular concert season with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra in New Mexico, Lonnie Klein has guest conducted regularly with orchestras in Mexico, Canada, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Colombia (South America), and Spain, as well as with orchestras in the United States. In the summer of 2017, Lonnie conducted master classes and coached chamber music at the Conservatori Superior de Musica (Spain).
In July of 2017, Lonnie conducted a special collaborative concert of opera, ballet, and arias with Natalie Bancroft, Beatrice Villiger, and dancers from the San Diego and Virginia ballet at the Spencer Theatre in Alto, New Mexico. In 2018, other concerts included a charity benefit concert with famed soprano Barbara Padilla at the Plaza de Las Cruces and two POPS concerts in Durango, Colorado, and Ruidoso, New Mexico with Tony Kishman’s “Live and Let Die Tour” featuring the greatest hits of the Beatles and Paul McCartney. In October 2018, Lonnie guest conducted the opening concert with the Irving Symphony Orchestra (Texas). That November, he returned for his fourth re-engagement with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra (Michigan) to conduct their Classics 2 concert featuring works by Bernstein, Dvorak, Marquez, Tchaikovsky, and others: “Fire and Fury,” great dance music of the 18 th , 19 th , and 20 th centuries. He also returned to the TSO to conduct their “Home for the Holiday” Christmas Pops in December. In the summer of 2019, Lonnie conducted the Orchestra Citta ‘Di Grosseto (Italy) in a three-city concert tour.
Lonnie has guest conducted the Second District Honor Winds concert in Madisonville, Kentucky, the Kentucky All-State Orchestra, the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (Massachusetts). In 2015, Lonnie made a return guest conducting engagement with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra with a sold-out POPS concert featuring Classical Mystery Tour: “A Tribute to the Beatles.” As a POPS conductor, he has produced and conducted concerts with such celebrated artists as Doc Severinsen, Mariachi Cobre, The Temptations, The Contours, The Dukes of Dixieland, The Texas Tenors, Brass Transit, 5 By Design, “Magical Mystery Tour,” Sandi Patti, Lee Greenwood, Daniel Rodriquez, “Simply Sinatra” with Steve Lippia, The Music of ABBA, Motor Booty Affair’s Classical Night Fever, POPS Under the Stars, Tony Award winner Debbie Gravitte, and Broadway stars Anne Runolfsson and Doug LaBrecque. Lonnie has also collaborated on two highly acclaimed musicals, Carousel and Annie Get Your Gun, with American playwright and Tony Award winner Mark Medoff.
Lonnie is committed to performing music of our time. Since his appointment, the LCSO has given world premieres of new music especially commissioned for the orchestra. Noted composers include Peter Inness (Scotland), Reinhard Seehafer (Germany), Steve Chatman (Canada), and American composers Joan Tower, Bill McGlaughlin, and Joseph Schwanter. In 2005 and 2007, the LCSO was featured on National Public Radio’s Performance Today, which was heard in all 50 states and on Sirius Radio. In June 2006, Klein was invited by Joan Tower to discuss the LCSO performances of her new work Made in America at the American Symphony Orchestra Leagues annual conference in Los Angeles.
Lonnie Klein holds a Doctorate in Performance from the University of Illinois, a Master of Music from Michigan State University, and a bachelor’s from Murray State University. In 2012, he received the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.