the Governor's Arts Award Winners

Lonnie Klein

Las Cruces

2012 recipient, Individual Artist

Musician Lonnie Klein of Las Cruces serves as the conductor and music director of the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra.

His unyielding passion for the arts has led the orchestra to new
levels of artistic excellence, with rave reviews, and ten consecutive sold out seasons.

With a career as a conductor that has spanned over three decades, Klein holds a doctorate in performance from the University of Illinois. Klein has led the orchestra for 13 years, and in his work as a guest artist both nationally and internationally, he serves as an artistic ambassador for the Las Cruces Symphony. Each season the 70-member orchestra presents six programs of classical music, a Pops concert, and chamber orchestra concert.

Klein has introduced his community to new composers through the presentation of world-renowned guest artist soloists and commissions of world-premieres by acclaimed composers, and innovative repertory.

Klein is committed to arts education and community outreach. More than 15,000 area children benefit from school tours and other opportunities to experience the orchestra in concert, and audiences benefit from pre-concert lectures.

Since Klein took the helm, the orchestra's budget has grown by four times its original size and now reaches more than 23,000 people. The orchestra has been featured on National Public Radio's Performance Today.