Kathy Saltzman Romey, the Minnesota Orchestra’s Choral Advisor since 2004, is artistic director of the 200-voice Minnesota Chorale, which serves as the Minnesota Orchestra’s principal chorus.
Known for her meticulous training of choirs, Romey has conducted the Chorale in local, national and international forums. She has prepared the Chorale for performances with the Minnesota Orchestra under the baton of Music Directors Osmo Vänskä, Eiji Oue and Edo de Waart, Sommerfest Artistic Directors Andrew Litton, Leonard Slatkin and David Zinman, and acclaimed guest conductors including Roberto Abbado, James Conlon, Paul Goodwin, Roger Norrington, Helmuth Rilling, Robert Shaw, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Mark Wigglesworth. She has also led the Chorale in concerts with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Metropolitan Symphony and other ensembles.
Romey graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from the University of Oregon. She continued her studies in Frankfurt, Germany under internationally known Bach scholar and conductor Helmuth Rilling, receiving an artistic degree in choral conducting from the Frankfurt State Conservatory of Music in 1984. During her five years in Germany, she assisted Dr. Rilling at the Memorial Church in Stuttgart, was a member of Rilling’s professional choir, the Gaechinger Kantorei, and worked on the staff of the International Bach Academy.
Romey has been on the staff of the Oregon Bach Festival since 1984 and is principal chorus master of the Festival’s 54-voice professional Festival Choir, which she prepares for annual concerts, commissions and recording projects. These events have included American and world premiere performances of major works by Tan Dun, Arvo Pärt, Krzysztof Penderecki and Sven David Sandström, and Mozart reconstructions by Robert Levin. She has assisted with ten recordings, including the Oregon Bach Festival’s 2001 Grammy Award-winning CD of Penderecki’s Credo under Helmuth Rilling, and the 2008 Grammy-nominated CD of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with Osmo Vänskä leading the Minnesota Orchestra and the Minnesota Chorale.
Since 1992, Romey has been a member of the faculty at the University of Minnesota, where she serves as director of choral activities and oversees the graduate program in choral conducting and conducts choirs. From 1985 to 1992, she was director of choral activities at Macalester College, conducting the Macalester Concert Choir and the Macalester Festival Chorale. She is active regionally and nationally as a guest conductor and clinician at music conferences and festivals.