Michael Stern is the founding Music Director of the acclaimed Iris Chamber Orchestra. Dedicated to revitalizing the chamber orchestra repertoire with special emphasis on American music, Iris has already commissioned and recorded works by Stephen Hartke, Richard Danielpour, Edgar Meyer, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich and Jonathan Leshnoff. He is also Music Director of the Kansas City Symphony, combining these positions with worldwide guest engagements including major orchestras and festivals throughout Europe, Asia and North America. European posts have included his tenure as chief conductor of Germany’s Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Orchestre national de Lyon in France. With the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra he has recorded works by Stravinsky as well as Prokofiev’s violin concertos with Boris Belkin. From 1986 to 1991 he was assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra. He studied at the Curtis Institute with Max Rudolf, whose textbook The Grammar of Conducting Mr Stern co-edited for its third edition. He also edited A Musical Life, a collection of Rudolf’s articles and letters, published in 2002. A graduate of Harvard University, Mr Stern earned a degree in American History in 1981.