April 28, 2015

University Appoints Alexander Kahn as Director of Orchestral Studies

The fledgling string orchestra at Sonoma State will soon become a full symphony with the recent hiring of a full-time director of orchestral studies. Dr. Alexander Kahn, currently at Gettysburg College’s Sunderman Conservatory of Music, has been appointed Associate Professor of Music. When he arrives in August, in addition to expanding the size of the orchestra to include winds, brass and percussion, Kahn will teach classes in conducting and work with the Freshman Learning Community.

The string orchestra that the music department started several years ago has grown under the leadership of cello instructor Judiyaba. “The need for a full-time director was there,” said department chair Brian Wilson. “When the university approved the tenure-track hire, we immediately began a nationwide search.”

As both a wind (French horn) and string (violin) player, Kahn is well versed in all aspects of orchestral music from small chamber groups to large groups, from classical to current trends. “Alex wowed the students by his attention to detail, and the fact that he has a great sense of humor,” Wilson said.

Kahn has worked with professional orchestras across the United States and throughout Europe. He is the founder and music director of the Metta Ensemble, a professional chamber orchestra based in Gettysburg, PA. He has served as Cover Conductor for the Baltimore Symphony and as a Staff Conductor for the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC. Recent guest conducting engagements include the HUB Opera Ensemble, the Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra in Bulgaria, the Latoshinsky Orchestra in Kiev, Ukraine, and the Salzburg Soloists of Salzburg, Austria.

Kahn holds an Artist Diploma in Orchestral Conducting from Peabody Conservatory, Master’s and PhD degrees in Music History from UC Berkeley and Bachelor’s degrees in Horn Performance and Comparative Literature and French from Indiana University. His doctoral dissertation entitled “Double Lives: Exile Composers in Los Angeles” focused on the community of European exiles who fled to Los Angeles during the Third Reich. He has lectured and published on this topic and other issues related to World-War II-era music history, in addition to a variety of topics including film music and the history of amateur music-making in America.

Kahn is fluent in French and German.




Media Contact:

Ruth E. Wilson
Lecturer in Horn
Music Department Publicity
Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928


University Box Office 707-664-4246