Jim Kendros




Jim Kendros is known as "The North Shore's Favorite Music Historian." In addition to his positions as Pre-Concert Lecturer and Resident Music Historian for the Lake Forest Symphony, Jim is the Composer Fellow and Pre-Concert Lecturer for the Northbrook Symphony, the Speaker and Instructor for the Elgin Symphony Listener's Club and the Pre-Concert Lecturer for the Fox Valley Orchestra. This season marks Jim's 16th year with the Lake Forest Symphony.

Jim has composed over 500 works. His recent compositions include Unspoken Sorrows for String Orchestra and Heroes of My Childhood for Brass, Percussions and Celeste. For Jim, both of these works convey an emotional catalyst: "Unspoken Sorrows is my attempt to express the heartbreak of losing someone through death–in this case, my parents. Heroes of My Childhood is a tribute to examples of great patriotism and the defense of freedom and democracy I witnessed in my younger years. I am eternally grateful for the men and women who have served our country. This piece is for them."  

Jim's winter series for guitar ensemble, Winter Arriving, Winter Staying and Winter Leaving have all been premiered by the Oakton Guitar Ensemble. Two of his original orchestral works, A Winter Solstice Concerto and A Winter Solstice Fantasy were inspired by the magical winter scenes of Lake Bluff, Illinois, the home of his partner, artist Kristin Ashley. His Twelve Fantasy Preludes for Violin and his Five Fret Fantasies for Guitar, were inspired by his travels through the American Southwest. All of these pieces are scheduled to be published within the next two years.

Recent premieres of Jim's work with the Northbrook Symphony include Slovak Reflections: The Promise of America in which Jim appeared as a soloist on the hammer dulcimer, and Waltz of the Enchanted Musicians where Jim appeared as a soloist on the mandolin. Jim's Suite for Unaccompanied Viola has been premiered and recorded by Lake Forest Symphony violist Kjell Sleipness.

"I am fascinated by string instruments, and am also composing concertos for the Nyckelharpa (or “keyed violin”) from Sweden as well as other exotic, historical instruments which time has either forgotten or put in the background," says Jim. "The fact that our digital technology can amplify these instruments with absolute clarity means that they can now be heard with a symphony orchestra. So instruments that Haydn wrote for like the lira organizzata or baryton could now be heard in large concert halls. This is wonderful for a composer. It means that if you can find the players, you have more musical possibilities than ever before!"

Jim's first CD of original piano works, Fermata's Journey, has been released. Jim will be completing two additional CD projects, one featuring the Nyckelharpa and the other inspired by the many beauties of Door County, Wisconsin. "It has always been a dream for me to come out with a CD where I compose the selections and play most of the instruments," states Jim. "I hope people will enjoy it!"

Jim performs frequently in the Chicago area featuring his original piano compositions. He is the host of his own radio show, “Classical Music in Bite-Size Nuggets,” which can be heard (including podcasts) at www.huntleyradio.com.

© 2018 Jim Kendros Music. All rights reserved.