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About Us

"The remedy for a cold January night was the warm sound of the Arcato Chamber Ensemble...[the repertoire's] intense lyricism and technical challenges provided an excellent opportunity for the ensemble to show its mettle."

-Kalamazoo Gazette

Arcato Chamber Ensemble

Founded in 2008, the Arcato Chamber Ensemble is a dynamic orchestra made up of the finest professional musicians in the greater Kalamazoo area.  Our members include faculty from Western Michigan University's School of Music and Kalamazoo College, as well as members of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, among other groups; we come together as friends and colleagues in a celebration of the richness of Kalamazoo's cultural life.  Balancing the sonic depth of a full orchestra with the immediacy and individual expression of a small ensemble, the Arcato Chamber Ensemble brings freshness and vitality to performances in repertoire ranging from Bach to Pärt to Dvořák.  Though the group employs a flexible instrumentation, as in any orchestra, string instruments make up the core of the ensemble; hence the name Arcato, which means "bowed" in Italian.  In addition to our own stand-alone performances, the group  partners frequently with the Bach Festival of Kalamazoo, one of West Michigan's oldest and most distinguished arts organizations.

Andrew Koehler, music director 

Andrew Koehler is active as a guest conductor at home and throughout the world. In recent seasons, he has appeared with the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra; the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra; the musicians of the Grand Rapids Symphony; the Lyatoshynsky Chamber Orchestra in Kyiv, Ukraine; the Ruse Philharmonic in Bulgaria, and many others.  He has additionally led ensembles under the auspices of the Aspen Music Festival, the 2006 Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition (where he advanced to the final round and won the audience favorite prize), and the 9th Grzegorz Fitelberg International Conductor’s Competition in Katowice, Poland (where he won First Distinction and the Youth Jury Prize).  In addition to his work with the Arcato Chamber Ensemble, he is also the music director of the Kalamazoo Philharmonia, which he leads as part of his position as an associate professor of music at Kalamazoo College. His innovative and thoughtful programming there was honored with the 2014 American Prize Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award in Orchestral Programming.


Born in Philadelphia to Ukrainian parents, Andrew is a graduate of Yale College, and holds a certificate in conducting from the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, where he studied for two years as a Fulbright scholar, as well as a Masters degree from Northwestern University.

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