LCSO Artistic Director and Conductor -
Ron Arden received his musical training at Butler University in Indianapolis, a Masters from the University of Nebraska in viola performance, and did doctoral work at the University of Houston in voice and viola. A “renaissance man” in the truest sense, for over 30 years he has performed, taught, and conducted as an artist of the first rank.
Professional orchestral viola experience includes the Omaha Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, Lincoln Symphony, Houston Bach Society, Houston Grand Opera, The Florida Philharmonic, and Symphony of the Americas in Fort Lauderdale, and Green Bay Symphony, Wisconsin Philharmonic, and Kenosha Symphony. Vocal/acting experience includes performance as a free-lance artist in Omaha, with Houston Grand Opera, Class Act Broadway touring company of South Florida, and free lancing in the greater Chicagoland area.
Ron has taught private voice and viola in each of the cities mentioned as well as being a featured teacher for Road Scholar Continuing Education programs annually since 1985. He is the owner and director of the Allegro String Quartet, presently teaches voice at Barrington High School, and has an active music studio at home.
He and his wife toured the country for over 25 years and have three professional recordings from a concert ministry Ron created called A Cross Between. They presently reside in Zion, Illinois where Ron spent five years as Minister of Music, Worship, and Drama at Christ Community Church. Besides orchestrating worship there, he was the artistic director of the Zion Passion Play, Dean of the Zion Conservatory, and music director of the Zion Chamber Orchestra – twice awarded by the Illinois Council of Orchestras.
In 2003 Ron reentered the free-lance music world and helped found, as conductor and artistic director, FullScore Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble of professional instrumentalists on Chicago’s North Shore. FullScore was the first orchestra invited to the renovated Genesee Theater in Waukegan to accompany national artists there. In 2017 the ensemble was renamed the Lake County Symphony Orchestra. It is a self-run, self-governed professional orchestra boasting a roster of players from Milwaukee to Chicago and specializing in fostering students and nonprofessionals in a high quality environment.
Ron is widely sought as a music director and works also as consultant on the arts in worship. Enjoying a diversity of performing and conducting experience, his reputation for instilling excellence and artistry into musicians is his deepest passion. From classical to Broadway, barbershop to gospel, Ron comfortably communicates the beauty in great music. In November of 2016, he released his first solo album “Voice of Love” to critical acclaim. It is an original commissioned collection of vocal stylings with jazz sextet.
Maestro Arden was music director/conductor of the Lake Forest Civic Orchestra in Lake Forest/Lake Bluff, Illinois until 2014. In his 7 seasons with the LFCO audiences grew, orchestra members increased, and the overall life of the orchestra was seriously rejuvenated. With both FullScore and the LFCO, Ron has celebrated the gifts of local artists and partnerships with local student ensembles and churches. In these celebrations he has been and continues to be an ambassador for music making that enlivens and educates the lives of others.