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Music Director & Conductor


Stephen AlltopStephen Alltop has built a career based on excellence in several disciplines, conducting both orchestral and choral ensembles, and performing as a keyboard artist. He is delighted to serve as Music Director and Conductor of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Alltop also serves as Music Director of the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, and the Green Lake Choral Institute. He was named the Illinois Council of Orchestras’ Conductor of the Year for 2012 for his work with the Elmhurst Symphony. The orchestra has expanded its presentations to venues in five different communities, and has an extensive educational outreach program. The Apollo Chorus has participated in numerous collaborations in recent seasons, including appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Ravinia Festival, Peninsula Music Festival, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. He is the ninth Music Director in the 142-year history of the chorus.

From 2000–2008, Mr. Alltop was the Music Director and Conductor of the Cheyenne Symphony in Wyoming. His repertoire includes over 100 oratorio and operatic master works. Stephen Alltop has performed with many leading musicians and actors of our time, including Hilary Hahn, Orli Shaham, Tony Randall, Martin Sheen, and Brian Dennehy. Mr. Alltop has served as a member of Northwestern University’s conducting and keyboard faculties since 1994, where he conducts the Alice Millar Chapel Choir and the Baroque Music Ensemble.

Mr. Alltop has guest conducted numerous orchestras and choruses across the United States. In 2012 and 2013, his guest conducting engagements included “A Celebration of Celtic Music” at Chicago’s Symphony Center, the Iowa All-State Orchestra, and Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem in Busan, South Korea, for the International Schools Choral Music Society. He has led opera and orchestral concerts with a number of Italian orchestras, including I Soloisti di Perugia, Fondazione Arturo Toscanini (Bologna), Teatro Reggio Orchestra (Parma), Festival Mozart (Roverto), Orchestra Sinfonica (Bari), Teatro Piccinni (Bari), and the Festival Duni (Matera). He has worked closely with leading composers of the day, including residency projects with John Corigliano, Eleanor Daley, Janika Vandervelde, and Eric Whitacre, and has conducted world premieres of works by Jan Bach, Françoise Choveaux, Frank Ferko, Fabrizio Festa, Ricardo Iznaola, Stephen Paulus, Giancarlo Scarvaglieri, Alan Terricciano, Hiroaki Tokunaga, and many others. In 2007, he made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting music of Eric Whitacre.

Stephen Alltop made his Chicago Symphony Orchestra subscription concert debut as a harpsichord soloist in 2009 playing Bach with conductor Pinchas Zukerman. He appeared as an organ soloist with the CSO at the Ravinia Festival of 2008. In 2011, Mr. Alltop served as principal organist for Bach’s St. Matthew Passion for Soli Deo Gloria’s Chicago Bach Project, and with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and conductor John Nelson at the Basilique St. Denis. As a harpsichordist and organist, he has performed with the Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, Chicago Chamber Musicians, Chicago Sinfonietta, Joffrey Ballet, Minnesota Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, and the Peninsula Music Festival.

Mr. Alltop has recorded Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 on the American Gramaphone label and a disc of baroque arias with soprano Julianne Baird and trumpeter Darin Kelly on the Albany label. As a conductor, his CDs include The Divas of Mozart’s Day with soprano Patrice Michaels on the Cedille label, operatic and chamber works of Antonio Caldara with soprano Julianne Baird on the Albany label, and Handel’s complete Messiah with the Apollo Chorus and Orchestra of Chicago on the Clarion label. Stephen Alltop is represented by Joanne Rile Artist Management.