Lohraseb Named Assistant Conductor of Yale Philharmonia

GENESEO, N.Y. – It wouldn't surprise anyone at SUNY Geneseo to see graduating senior Louis Lohraseb conducting a major symphony orchestra in the not-too-distant future.

Lohraseb, a music major from Schenectady, N.Y., and one of 16 presidential scholars at Geneseo this year, will begin graduate studies this fall at the Yale School of Music, where he has been appointed assistant conductor of the Yale Philharmonia, one of the nation's foremost music school ensembles. He competed with 38 others for the position.

"I have no words to describe what this honor means to me other than I'm extremely humbled," said Lohraseb, who will graduate May 18. "I have my eyes on becoming a conductor, and Geneseo has given me all I need to be successful. I am very grateful."

At Geneseo, Lohraseb has excelled academically and frequently served as assistant conductor for Geneseo Symphony Orchestra concerts, under the direction of James Walker, distinguished service professor of music.

"Louis is an extremely talented musician with a high energy level and boundless enthusiasm," said Walker. "He has marvelous abilities as a pianist, musicologist and conductor. I look forward with great glee to watch the next chapter of his life unfold."

Lohraseb credits Walker with advancing his conducting talents. He first handed the baton to Lohraseb as a freshman to help conduct a Geneseo Symphony Orchestra concert.

"I marvel at Professor Walker's musicianship, his generosity of spirit and his humility," said Lohraseb. "Not only have I learned a great deal from him but he selflessly gave me the opportunity to conduct a full symphony orchestra early in my college career, for which I will always be grateful."

He has high praise for numerous Geneseo faculty members including piano teacher and adviser Amy Stanley, associate professor of music, for providing skillful training and sage guidance, and Anne-Marie Reynolds, associate professor of music, for passing on her depth of knowledge in musicology.

Lohraseb initiated several significant projects for the music department during his years at Geneseo. Last fall, Lohraseb was instrumental in coordinating all aspects of a concert on campus with critically acclaimed cellist Cicely Parnas. Last spring, he was heavily involved in obtaining funding to refurbish the department's Herz double manual harpsichord. He played the harpsichord in an all-Bach concert with guest harpsichordists Findley Cockrell, an emeritus professor from the University at Albany and Lohraseb's former teacher, and musicologist William Caragan. Cockrell made a generous donation to Geneseo for the refurbishing project.

For his senior project this month, Lohraseb conducted the Geneseo Symphony Orchestra in Mozart's Symphony No. 40. Later in the concert, he performed Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2.

"Some pianists wait their entire lives to play Rachmaninoff's 2nd with an orchestra yet I had the opportunity at Geneseo," said Lohraseb. "It's been an incredible experience."

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