Kyle Knox’s road from top clarinetist to orchestra conductor

Posted on: November 13, 2018

“John DeMain, the longtime music director of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, remembers the first time he heard Kyle Knox conduct,” writes Gayle Worland in Sunday’s (11/11) Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI). “The novice conductor had rounded up a group of musicians to play a chamber ensemble version of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony…. ‘It was magical,’ DeMain said…. By 23, Knox [was] assistant principal clarinetist in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra…. Four years later … he was diagnosed with focal dystonia, a neurological condition that affected two fingers on his right hand…. Knox put his clarinet in the closet [and] transformed himself into a conductor…. This summer … Knox [won] the spot of music director for … the Madison-based Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras, known as WYSO. At the same time, DeMain tapped him to be the MSO’s new associate conductor…. In 10th grade, he joined the New Jersey Youth Orchestra—and met ‘this totally amazing kid’ … Knox figured out who the boy’s teacher was, and went to study with him. Then he studied with his teacher’s teacher, the famed Yehuda Gilad…. Now, he understands how … ‘remarkable it is to expose people that age to something really spectacular,’ he said.”

Posted November 13, 2018