Dennis Friesen-Carper is a versatile conductor, composer, and keyboardist with performances in major venues of North America, China, and Europe. Former Music Director of the Pasadena Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, and Indiana Opera North, he is experienced with orchestras and choirs in professional, academic, and church settings. He is active as guest conductor and composer, most recently at Shanghai University, Wuhan Conservatory, and with the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra of Warsaw. Dr. Friesen-Carper serves as Music Director at St John’s Lutheran Church in Lakeville, MN and is teaching conducting and leading the Philharmonia Orchestra for Spring 2022 at St Olaf College. In December of 2022 he will conduct the Asian Cultural Symphony in concert in New York’s Carnegie Hall.
Commissioners include the Houston Symphony, Houston Chamber Singers, Tucson Symphony, Zhejiang Symphony and Symphony Chorus, Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries, Lutheran Music Program, and Augsburg Fortress, with recent sacred works premiered in Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Innocents, his oratorio with Walter Wangerin, Jr. on the abuse of power, received the 2010 Arlin G. Meyer Prize.
As Reddel Professor of Music at Valparaiso University, Dr. Friesen-Carper created the all-student Symphony, conducted opera, musicals, and oratorio, taught composition, conducting, and improvisation. He has collaborated with Chinese musicians for over twenty years, including keyboards and arrangements for three tours with Silk Cedar, a Chinese/American fusion band.