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Jeffrey Klefstad has firmly established himself as a vibrant conductor with a deep and thorough understanding of the orchestral repertoire. His attention to detail, innovative programming, and unique musical styling has garnered him recognition both nationally and internationally. Since 2013 Klefstad has been Music Director and Conductor of the All University Orchestra (AUO) at Carnegie Mellon University. He also serves as Assistant Conductor and company manager with Resonance Works | Pittsburgh.


Klefstad’s work has led him to engagements with 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, Johannes Gustavsson, and the late Sir Neville Marriner; and he has also conducted with the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic (Czech Republic). He has guest conducted the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Norfolk Symphony, Resonance Works Chamber Orchestra, and was a Conducting Fellow with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra during the 2022-2023 season. Klefstad has frequently served as a cover conductor with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Akron Symphony Orchestra, Edgewood Symphony, and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. He was a finalist in the Lanyi Conducting Competition (Serbia), awarded third prize in 2022-2023 Orchestral Programming in the American Prize, Honorable Mention in the 2020-2021 American Prize for orchestral conducting, and was a third prize winner in 2019-2020 season. He has  served as an assistant and guest conductor with the McGill Symphony Orchestra, leading the ensemble in performances of Sibelius and Beethoven; and guest conductor in residence for L'Orchestre symphonique conservatoire de musique de la Montérégie (Montréal). Klefstad is also familiar with the opera pit, having served as music director for productions of Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl & the Night Visitors, and assistant on countless productions.


Among his interests, Klefstad is a frequent collaborator in performing new music. During the 2021-2022 AUO season, he commissioned and premiered two compositions with the AUO Symphony—Nancy Galbraith’s Photons and Adam Hochstatter’s Nothing Left for Us. 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 François Morel's Strophes, sequences, et mouvements; led performances of Denys Boulaine's Jeux de société  for the Canadian Music Day Festival (2017); and collaborated with the famed contemporary ensemble, Meitar Ensemble, under the guidance of Pierre-André Valade and Guillaume Bourgogne on Phillipe Leroux's 'Continuo(ns).'


Klefstad has worked with acclaimed conductors and composers that include Manfred Honeck, Kurt Masur, Robert Moody, Keith Lockhart, Jorge Mester, Kenneth Kiesler, Steve Reich, Diane Wittry, Jennifer Higdon, Roberto Sierra, and Samuel Jones, among many others.

Raised in rural North Dakota, Klefstad holds degrees from Concordia College (Moorhead, MN), James Madison University, Case Western Reserve University, and École de musique Schulich—Université McGill, where he studied conducting with Alexis Hauser and Guillaume Bourgogne. He resides outside of Pittsburgh with his husband, Ryan, and Boston-Terrier, Molly.

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