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James Fellenbaum

resident conductor


Maestro James Fellenbaum is the Resident Conductor of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, celebrating his ninth season with the organization. In recent years, he has made his Masterwork and Chamber Classics conducting debuts with the KSO, while continuing to serve as an assistant for all other concerts in those series. He conducts Outreach Concerts, Pops, and Educational concerts, the latter of which includes the KSO’s annual Young People’s Concerts, which is attended by thousands of school children each year.


Maestro Fellenbaum is also Music Director of the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra Association, and conducts the top ensemble, the Youth Symphony.  The KSYOA has grown to over 270 students from a five-county area, which includes five orchestral ensembles and a training class.

As Director of Orchestras at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Maestro Fellenbaum directs the School of Music’s Orchestra Program, that includes the Symphony Orchestra (the most prominent collegiate orchestral ensemble in Tennessee), the Opera Orchestra, the Studio Orchestra, and, recently created by Maestro Fellenbaum, the Chamber Orchestra (founded in 2004) and the Contemporary Music Ensemble (founded in 2006). 

Maestro Fellenbaum conducts orchestras nationally and internationally, including guest conducting engagements with the Asheville Symphony, Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Bangor Symphony, the Orange County Symphony, the American Youth Philharmonic, the Symphony of the Mountains, and state orchestras in Romania and Bulgaria.

Maestro James Fellenbaum has a Bachelor of Music degree in cello performance from James Madison University, and a double Master’s degree in cello performance and conducting from Northwestern University.  He was one of the top five finalists out of 112 conductors from 25 countries who competed in the 2006 First International Gennady Rozhdestvensky Conductors Competition.