Stuart Chafetz is the newly appointed Principal Pops Conductor of the Columbus Symphony. Chafetz, a conductor celebrated for his dynamic and engaging podium presence, is increasingly in demand with orchestras across the continent and this season Chafetz will be on the podium in Seattle, Detroit, Naples, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Vancouver and many more.
He previously held posts as resident conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and associate conductor of the Louisville Orchestra. As principal timpanist of the Honolulu Symphony for twenty years, Chafetz would also conduct the annual Nutcracker performances with Ballet Hawaii and principals from the American Ballet Theatre. It was during that time that Chafetz led numerous concerts with the Maui Symphony and Pops. He annually leads the Spring Ballet at the world-renowned Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
In the summers, Chafetz spends his time at the Chautauqua Institution, where he conducts the annual Fourth of July and Opera Pops.
Chafetz makes his home near San Francisco, CA, with his wife Ann Krinitsky. Chafetz holds a bachelor’s degree in music performance from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and a master’s from the Eastman School of Music.
International Award Winning Singer N’Kenge, was called “Electrifying” by the NY Post in the role of Mary Wells that she originated in Broadway’s Smash Hit Motown: The Musical. Berry Gordy describes N’Kenge as “the most versatile artist I know”. N’Kenge was seen on National TV singing the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden as well as being a a presenter for the NY Emmy Awards.
N’Kenge made her Broadway debut in Sondheim on Sondheim singing alongside Vanessa Williams, Barbara Cook, Tom Wopat and Norm Lewis. N’Kenge had the honor to sing at the White House for President Bill Clinton and for the Commander-in-Chief Ball for President Obama. She starred in London’s West End Haymarket theatre in a tribute to the late great Ray Charles and has done solo engagements in New York at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center as well as the Library of Congress in Washington, DC in which it was broadcast worldwide by NPR.
Helen Hayes Awards and Arizoni Theater Awards Nominee in the Outstanding Lead Actress Category, N’Kenge starred in the Michael Jackson Tribute Show World Tour and recently made her debut in the leading role of Mother Hare/Circe in The Golden Apple at New York City Center Encores! N’Kenge is consistently seen as a soloist in pop and Opera programs with the Indianapolis Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra and New York Pops Orchestra among others around the globe.