Stephen Alltop has built a career based on excellence in several disciplines, conducting both orchestral and choral ensembles, and performing as a keyboard artist. He serves as Music Director and Conductor of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, and the Apollo Chorus of Chicago. 

A specialist in oratorio, opera and performance practice, he has worked with leading musicians of our time, including conductors Harry Bicket, Jane Glover, Ton Koopman, Nicholas Kraemer, Nicholas McGegan, and renowned period instrument performers such as Julie Andrijeski, Elizabeth Blumenstock, Carla Moore, Ingrid Matthews, and Ensemble Dark Horse. 

Dr. Alltop serves as a member of the conducting and keyboard faculties at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University where he conducts the Alice Millar Chapel Choir and the Baroque Music Ensemble in a broad array of repertoire.  

During COVID19, Stephen Alltop has worked with director and video artist Joachim Schamberger to create Orfeo Remote, an experimental opera film of Monteverdi’s Orfeo.  A collaboration that brought together fifty students from the Bienen School of Music with Ensemble Dark Horse, ten distinguished early music musicians and scholar Jeffrey Kurtzman, Alltop edited and mastered 1,400 separate audio recordings while Schamberger utilized over 1,200 videos of the casts and orchestra to make two feature-length films for the this double-cast opera. To be released on YouTube in December, 2020. 

Throughout COVID19, Alltop has been immersed in scripting, filming and recording several dozen video concerts, galas and benefits for the Apollo Chorus, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Elmhurst Symphony, Music of the Baroque, Rembrandt Chamber Players, Bach Week in Evanston, and Northwestern University.  He has given Zoom lectures and performance on many musical topics for organizations across the United States and the Dominican Republic. 

As an ambassador for music, Stephen Alltop speaks to groups of all ages and backgrounds every year. He has given over 100 two-hour lectures on a variety of musical topics for the Northwestern Alumnae Association, and since 2014 has given presentations on conducting and leadership to MBA students and executives from around the world for the Kellogg School of Management, and organizations such as Music of the Baroque and Leadership Greater Chicago. 

An ardent champion of contemporary music, Altop has conducted world premieres by Stacy Garrop, Stephen Paulus, Joseph Schwantner, John Luther Adams, Jan Bach, Françoise Choveaux, Frank Ferko, Fabrizio Festa, Giancarlo Scarvaglieri, Alan Terricciano, and many others. He has coordinated residencies for composers John Corigliano, Eleanor Daley, Stephen Paulus, Jeff Beal, Janika Vandervelde and Eric Whitacre. In 2007, he made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting music of Eric Whitacre. He has worked closely with Stacy Garrop in conducting and performing a wide variety of her orchestra, choral and chamber music. From 2017-2019, Stacy Garrop was composer in residence for the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra as part of a major Music Alive grant from New Music USA and the Carnegie Mellon Foundation.

Mr. Alltop has guest conducted numerous orchestras and choruses across the United States, Europe and South Korea.  Engagements have included “A Celebration of Celtic Music” at Chicago’s Symphony Center, the Iowa All-State Orchestra, and Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem in Busan, South Korea for the International Schools Choral Music Society. He has led opera and orchestral concerts with a number of Italian orchestras, including I Soloisti di Perugia, Fondazione Arturo Toscanini (Bologna), Teatro Reggio Orchestra (Parma), Festival Mozart (Roverto), Orchestra Sinfonica (Bari), Teatro Piccinni (Bari), and the Festival Duni (Matera). 

Dr. Alltop’s passion for the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Frideric Handel has brought about opportunities to perform most of the major choral and orchestral works by both composers.  From 2013-14, he organized, hosted and performed on a live concert series for WFMT Chicago of Bach’s complete works for organ and keyboard featuring 134 performers in 23 Chicago venues. 

 

Stephen Alltop made his Chicago Symphony Orchestra subscription concert debut as a harpsichord soloist in 2009 playing Bach with conductor Pinchas Zukerman. He appeared as an organ soloist with the CSO at the Ravinia Festival of 2008. In 2011, Mr. Alltop served as principal organist for Bach’s St. Matthew Passion for Soli Deo Gloria’s Chicago Bach Project, and with the Orchestre de Chambre and conductor John Nelson at the Basilique St. Denis in Paris. As a keyboardist, he has performed with the Music of the Baroque, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Joffrey Ballet, Handel and Haydn Society, Omaha Symphony, and the Peninsula Music Festival. 

Mr. Alltop has recorded Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 on the American Gramaphone label and a disc of baroque arias with soprano Julianne Baird and trumpeter Darin Kelly on the Albany label. As a conductor, his CDs include The Divas of Mozart’s Day with soprano Patrice Michaels on the Cedille label, operatic and chamber works of Antonio Caldara with soprano Julianne Baird on the Albany label, and Handel’s complete Messiah with the Apollo Chorus and Orchestra of Chicago on the Clarion label. A new recording of the choral music of Stephen Paulus will be released on the Centaur label in 2021. Stephen Alltop is represented by Joanne Rile Artist Management.

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Stephen Alltop has built a career based on excellence in several disciplines, conducting both orchestral and choral ensembles, and performing as a keyboard artist. The 2013-2014 season marks his seventeenth year as Music Director of the Apollo Chorus of Chicago. Mr. Alltop is the ninth music director in the 140-year history of the chorus. Under his direction, the Apollo Chorus has expanded its collaborations to include appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Ravinia Festival, Peninsula Music Festival, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. A specialist in oratorio performance, he has conducted over 100 oratorio and operatic masterworks. He also serves as music director for the Green Lake Choral Institute in Wisconsin and the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra. In 2012, he was named Conductor of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras for his work with the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra.  The orchestra has received multiple awards for excellence in programming. 

In April of 2013,Stephen Alltop was named as Music Director and Conductor of the Champaign Urbana Symphony Orchestra. Highlights of his first season there include Daphnis et Chloé Suites 1 and 2 by Ravel, Bach's Magnificat, and the Symphony No. 4 by Carl Nielsen.  Dr. Alltop has served as a member of Northwestern University's conducting and keyboard faculties since 1994 where he con

 

ducts the Alice Millar Chapel Choir and the Baroque Music Ensemble.  This year, he will conduct the world premiere of "Chapel Songs: Five Diverse Songs for Chorus and Orchestra" by Joseph Schwantner, commissioned for the 50th Anniversary of Alice Millar Chapel.

Mr. Alltop has guest conducted numerous orchestras and choruses across the United States.  He has led opera and orchestral concerts with a number of Italian orchestras, including I Soloisti di Perugia, Fondazione Arturo Toscanini (Bologna), Teatro Reggio Orchestra (Parma), Festival Mozart (Roverto), Orchestra Sinfonica (Bari), Teatro Piccinni (Bari), and the Festival Duni (Matera). Dr. Alltop led the International Schools Choral Music Society Festival in Busan, South Korea in February of 2013. He has worked closely with leading composers of the day, including residency projects with John Corigliano, Eleanor Daley, Stephen Paulus and Eric Whitacre, and has conducted world premieres of works by John Luther Adams, Jan Bach, Miguel del Agila, Frank Ferko, Fabrizio Festa, Stephen Paulus, Alan Terricciano, and many others. In 2007, he made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting music of Eric Whitacre.

An active musician in historic performance practices, Stephen Alltop has performed with many of today's outstanding early music musicians, including Julianne Baird, Elizabeth Blumenstock, David Douglass, Kenneth Slowik and Ton Koopman and Nicholas McGegan. He has appeared as a harpsichordist and organist with Boston's Handel and Haydn Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Bach Project, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Music of the Baroque, and the Omaha Symphony.  Dr. Alltop has served as principal organist for Soli Deo Gloria's Chicago Bach Project. In 2011, he was principal organist performing Bach's St. Matthew Passion with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and conductor John Nelson at the Basilique St. Denis in France. As conductor of the Annual Celebration of Celtic Music at Chicago's Symphony Center, he has worked with distinguished television and stage performers such as Brian Dennehy, Bill Kurtis, John Mahoney, and Martin Sheen. His performances have been broadcast on Medici TV, RAI Italian Radio and Television, and the WFMT Fine Arts Network. His recordings can be found on the Albany, Cedille, Clarion, and American Gramaphone labels.