"...there is good energy and power in the presentation and a fine sense of direction in playing, which clearly comes from the conducting."
-The American Prize
Since 2013 Jeffrey Klefstad has been Music Director and Conductor of the All University Orchestra (AUO) at Carnegie Mellon University, leading the ensemble in performances at Carnegie Music Hall and Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Auditorium (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA).
Mr. Klefstad has led ensembles in both Europe and North America. He made his European debut at the Aurora Music Festival (Sweden) under the invitations of Scandinavian conductors, Leif Segerstam and Johannes Gustavsson; and also has conducted the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic (Czech Republic). Most recently, Mr. Klefstad was awarded third prize in the orchestral conducting division of the 2019-2020 The American Prize.
Among other interests, Mr. Klefstad is a frequent collaborator and interested in performing new music. While based in Montréal, he conducted the World Premiere of Michael Kim-Sheng's Matriphagy; joined forces with the Montréal-based professional saxophone quartet, Quasar in presenting Francois Morel's Strophes, sequences, et mouvements; he partnered with local Montréal musicians in performing Denys Boulaine's Jeux de société for the Canadian Music Day Festival (2017); and worked with the Meitar Ensemble (Israel) under the guidance of Pierre-André Valade and Guillaume Bourgogne on Phillipe Leroux's 'Continuo(ns).' Furthermore, Mr. Klefstad also served as an assistant conductor for the McGill Symphony Orchestra and led the ensemble in performances of Sibelius and Beethoven. He also served as guest conductor in residence for L'Orchestre symphonique conservatoire de musique de la Montérégie (Montréal).
Previously, Mr. Klefstad served as assistant conductor and member of the board for Resonance Works | Pittsburgh, a multi-modal performing arts company focusing on chamber, opera, choral, and contemporary repertoire. During his time with the company, he was involved with various opera productions—Verdi’s Falstaff (2017) and Macbeth (2013), Massanet’s Cendrillon (2016), Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti (2015), Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (2014), and Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors—and chamber programs that included Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and the North American Premiere of Sir James MacMillian’s Gloria.
Among other engagements, Mr. Klefstad has served as a cover conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Edgewood Symphony Orchestra, and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. Additionally, he was music director for the opera productions of Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
Mr. Klefstad has worked with acclaimed conductors that include Manfred Honeck, Kurt Masur, Keith Lockhart, Jorge Mester, Kenneth Kiesler, and composers Steve Reich, Jennifer Higdon, Roberto Sierra, and Samuel Jones, among others.
Raised in rural North Dakota, Mr. Klefstad holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Concordia College (Moorhead, MN), a Master of Music degree from James Madison University, and a Master of Arts degree from Case Western Reserve University. In the Fall of 2020 he received a Doctorate in orchestral conducting from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, where he studied with Alexis Hauser and Guillaume Bourgogne. He resides in Pittsburgh with his husband, Ryan, and Boston-Terrier, Molly.