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Cleveland conductor subs for Amundson on tour

By David Gonnerman '90
October 21, 2010

Tito Muñoz

The St. Olaf Orchestra had to deal with the unexpected when a chronic back problem surfaced for Conductor Steven Amundson just as the ensemble was leaving on its fall tour of the Pacific Northwest.

When the orchestra put out a call for a substitute conductor, Jayce Ogren '01, a St. Olaf alumnus who has conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra, New York Opera, and BBC Symphony Orchestra, was initially approached but was unavailable for the tour. Instead, Ogren enthusiastically recommended his good friend Tito Muñoz, the 27-year-old assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra. The two knew each other from Ogren's time as an assistant conductor with the Cleveland Orchestra and music director of the Cleveland Youth Orchestra.

Muñoz was able to join the orchestra on the second day of their tour, when they had a marathon three-hour rehearsal together. He has since been leading them on their regularly scheduled itinerary (except for the Home Concert that has been moved up to Monday, October 25; the performance will be streamed and archived online).

Amundson, who had surgery October 19, will be on leave while he makes an expected full recovery.

Contact David Gonnerman at 507-786-3315 or