Stuart Chafetz, Principal Pops Conductor

Hear Maestro Chafetz interview on KWMR about
Fall Pops: Cirque de la Symphonie

In response to audience demand, and in an effort to reach a larger segment of the community, the Marin Symphony Association announced in August 2019 that with its expansion of Pops programming, Stuart Chafetz has been appointed to the new position of Principal Pops Conductor of the Marin Symphony. Maestro Alasdair Neale continues to lead the organization’s artistic production as Music Director and conductor of the Classical Masterworks Programs and the Holiday Pops concert. Mr. Chafetz will be involved in artistic planning and publicity for the Pops offerings, and will conduct both the Fall and Spring Pops concerts.

Marin Symphony Association Executive Director Tod Brody said “When the Marin Symphony decided to reach out to an even larger populace by developing a Pops series, we wanted to find just the right person to lead that effort. We’re thrilled that the answer to that quest was right here in our neighborhood. Marin County’s own Stuart Chafetz has built a huge reputation as a Pops conductor and leader throughout the U.S., and we know our audiences are going to love him and his work.”

Neale, the Marin Symphony’s Music Director since 2001, said that he is delighted to welcome Chafetz to the Marin Symphony.  “Stuart brings with him a wealth of experience in the field, and as a long-time orchestral timpanist, he knows how to work with our musicians.  I’m very much looking forward to partnering with him as the Marin Symphony continues its upward trajectory.”

Stuart Chafetz is also the Principal Pops Conductor of the Columbus Symphony. Chafetz, a conductor celebrated for his dynamic and engaging podium presence, is increasingly in demand with orchestras across the continent and this season Chafetz will be on the podium in Detroit, Houston, Milwaukee, Naples, Philly Pops, Cincinnati Pops, Pittsburgh, San Diego,  and Winnipeg.  He enjoys a special relationship with The Phoenix Symphony where he leads multiple programs annually.

He’s had the privilege to work with renowned artists including Chris Botti, 2 Cellos, Hanson, Rick Springfield, Michael Bolton, Kool & The Gang, Jefferson Starship, America, Little River Band, Brian McKnight, Roberta Flack, George Benson, Richard Chamberlain, The Chieftains, Jennifer Holliday, John Denver, Marvin Hamlisch, Thomas Hampson, Wynonna Judd, Jim Nabors, Randy Newman, Jon Kimura Parker and Bernadette Peters.

He previously held posts as resident conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and associate conductor of the Louisville Orchestra. As principal timpanist of the Honolulu Symphony for twenty years, Chafetz would also conduct the annual Nutcracker performances with Ballet Hawaii and principals from the American Ballet Theatre. It was during that time that Chafetz led numerous concerts with the Maui Symphony and Pops. He’s led  numerous Spring Ballet productions at the world-renowned Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

In the summers, Chafetz spends his time at the Chautauqua Institution, where he conducts the annual Fourth of July and Opera Pops concerts with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra in addition to his role as that orchestra’s timpanist.

When not on the podium, Chafetz makes his home near San Francisco, CA, with his wife Ann Krinitsky. Chafetz holds a bachelor’s degree in music performance from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and a master’s from the Eastman School of Music.