November 4, 2021
A conductor, harpsichordist, and organist, Stephen Alltop '96 DMus is director of music for Alice Millar Chapel, conductor of the Baroque Music Ensemble, and an instructor in conducting, harpsichord, and oratorio. A specialist in oratorio performance, he has conducted over 100 oratorio and operatic masterworks. He also serves as music director for the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, the Green Lake Choral Institute, and the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra. Under his direction, the Apollo Chorus has expanded its collaborations to include appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theater, London Symphony Orchestra, Ravinia Festival, Peninsula Music Festival, Josh Groban on Tour, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.
In 2012, he was named Conductor of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras for his work with the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra has received multiple awards for excellence in programming. He has also been named to Northwestern’s Faculty Honor Roll. Dr. Alltop became the music director and conductor of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra commencing with the 2013-14 season. He has guest-conducted numerous choruses and orchestras across the United States. 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 della Provincia di Bari, Teatro Piccinni (Bari), and the Festival Duni (Matera). In February 2013, he was a guest conductor for the International School Choral Music Society in Busan, South Korea.
Dr. Alltop has worked closely with leading composers of the day, including residency projects with John Corigliano, Eleanor Daley, Stephen Paulus, and Eric Whitacre. He has conducted world premieres of works by John Luther Adams, Jan Bach, Frank Ferko, Stephen Paulus, Alan Terricciano, Janika Vandervelde, and many others. In 2007, he made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting music of Eric Whitacre.
An active musician in historic performance practices, Stephen Alltop has performed with many of today’s outstanding early music musicians, including Julianne Baird, Elizabeth Blumenstock, David Douglass, Ellen Hargis, Ingrid Matthews, Kenneth Slowik and Ton Koopman. He has performed as a harpsichordist and organist with Boston's Handel and Haydn Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Bach Project, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Music of the Baroque, and the Omaha Symphony. Dr. Alltop has served as principal organist for Soli Deo Gloria’s Chicago Bach Project. In 2011, he was principal organist performing Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and conductor John Nelson at the Basilique St. Denis in France. As conductor of the Annual Celebration of Celtic Music at Chicago’s Symphony Center, he has worked with distinguished television and stage performers such as Brian Dennehy, Bill Kurtis, John Mahoney, and Martin Sheen. Dr. Alltop served as coordinator for WFMT's Chicago Bach Organ Project, a live performance series of all of Johann Sebastian Bach's organ works. His performances have been broadcast on Medici TV, RAI Italian Radio and Television, and the WFMT Fine Arts Network. His recordings can be found on the Albany, Cedille, Clarion, and American Gramaphone labels.
In demand as a speaker about music, Dr. Alltop lectures frequently for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Northwestern University Alumnae Continuing Education Series, and other musical organizations. In 2014-15, he gave presentations on leadership for the Advanced Management program of the Kellogg School of Management. He is represented by Joanne Rile Artist Management.
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