B i o g r a p h y
Aaron Hirsch, a native of Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, has been actively involved in music his whole life. Hirsch attended the University of Minnesota’s School of Music in Minneapolis studying under professor of organ and harpsichord Dean Billmeyer. During his senior year, Aaron travelled to Germany for a semester with a fellowship from the Deutscher akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), where he studied organ and conducting at the Stuttgart Musikhochschule under Jürgen Essl and Richard Wien respectively. He returned for the University of Minnesota’s spring semester, where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance in 2013.
Soon after graduation Aaron became the organist and choir director at Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm, MN. During this time he helped set into motion plans to rebuild the Jaeckle organ, which had fallen into disrepair. With his efforts, Nordlie Organ Builders of Sioux Falls are currently rebuilding the instrument. He continues making organ solo appearances in the Twin Cities metro area, Southern Minnesota, Central Washington, and Wisconsin, and is a frequent clinician for workshops on liturgical playing in the Dioceses of New Ulm, MN and Yakima, WA.
After a year in New Ulm, Aaron relocated to Ellensburg, Washington in 2014 to study orchestral conducting through a master’s program at Central Washington University under Nikolas Caoile. As a graduate teaching assistant, his duties included rehearsing the CWU Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, as well as accompanying vocal students involved in the opera program. Hirsch graduated with his Master's Degree in orchestral conducting in June of 2016.
Hirsch's conducting career began when he created a small orchestra of his colleagues at the University of Minnesota in the Spring of 2012. This informal group named themselves the Riverside Chamber Orchestra and gave a performance in the Spring of 2012 and 2013. In the summer of 2013, members of the Riverside Chamber Orchestra founded a group called Young Musicians of Minnesota as a means to support music making in Minnesota, support music education and engagement in the community, and perform alongside members of the Minnesota Orchestra. Aaron Hirsch has served as their conductor since their inception, and was named artistic director in 2014. The orchestra consists of advanced students high school through college and is a low-cost alternative for those wishing to undergo an intensive, summer festival experience.
In the 2015-2016 season, Hirsch conducted several performances with the Wenatchee Valley Symphony Orchestra. Aaron led a series of four performances of Tchaikovsky’s "The Nutcracker" in December, 2015 with the WVSO in collaboration with the Fabulous Feet Dance Studio, based in Wenatchee. In April of 2016 he led two performances of the WVSO in collaboration with Voortex Productions, a film company. These concerts featured original compositions, click track syncronization, and guest guitarist Ethan Ian.
Besides conducting, Hirsch is in demand as a collaborative musician. Equally proficient on piano, organ, and harpsichord, Aaron has performed with instrumentalists and vocalists, faculty and students at Central Washington University and its community. Aaron is also active as a promoter of new music, conducting new works by composition students at CWU, and performing them himself.
As a professional musician, Aaron is also very interested in continuing his development as a musician by participating in many festivals and master classes as he can fit in his schedule. Notable recent events were Aaron's participation as a conducting fellow at the 2015 DMM (Dresdner Meisterkurs Musik) at the Musikhochschule Carl Marie von Weber in Dresden, Germany. Here he studied with conductor Ekkehard Klemm and was able to lead the Dresden Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. Hirsch was also a conducting fellow at the prestigious Oregon Bach Festival in 2016 under the tutelage of Matthew Halls and Dr. Edward Maclary.