Dr. Jesse Henkensiefken
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Faculty/Staff Title: Director of Orchestras & String Studies
Office: PH 153
Office/Department: Department of Music
Degrees: Doctor of Musical Arts, The University of Kansas Master of Music, The Manhattan School of Music
As one of the up-and-coming musicians of his generation, Jesse Henkensiefken performs regularly as a cellist and conductor. A Kansas native, Henkensiefken is the new Director of String Studies at Kansas Wesleyan University and principal cellist of the Salina Symphony.
In 2011, Henkensiefken won the Sobel Award at the Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition (Rochester NY) at the Eastman School of Music. He received a Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree in Cello Performance from the University of Kansas in 2010, where he studied under the direction of former Cleveland Symphony Cellist, Edward Laut. As a Park University graduate Henkensiefken studied under the current BBC Scottish Symphony Principal Cellist, Martin Storey.
Henkensiefken has participated in master classes with world-renowned musicians including Yo-Yo Ma, Peter Kondrashin, Daniel Weis, Libby Larsen, Mark O’Connor and Zuill Bailey. He is the former principal cellist of Ensemble du Monde (New York, NY), Empire State Sinfonia (Brooklyn, NY) and the Kansas University Symphony Orchestra (Lawrence, KS). Henkensiefken has performed at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Kaufman Centers’ Merkin Concert Hall, Eastman School of Music’s Kilburn Hall, The Kansas City Lyric Opera Theater and the University of Kansas’s Lied Center. In addition, he has had solo appearances with the Kansas City Philharmonia, Sine Nomine Chamber Orchestra, Ars Viva Chamber Orchestra, Lawrence Chamber Orchestra, West Coast Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Ensemble de Monde. He was a cellist at the 2011 St. Georges International Music Festival in Guadalupe and principal cellist at the 2013 Ensemble du Monde Bahamas residency. During the 2006-2007 season Henkensiefken was a substitute cellist for the New World Symphony.
During his time as a conducting apprentice at the Manhattan School of Music (New York, NY), Henkensiefken studied under the tutelage of Maestros George Manahan and David Gilbert. He was the MSM Contemporary Opera Ensemble Assistant Conductor form 2012-14, and was a participant in the 2013 Kurt Masur Conducting Seminar.He is the former conductor of the Ars Viva Chamber Orchestra (Westchester, NY), Noel Pointer Foundation Youth Symphony (Brooklyn, NY) and the University of Kansas’s String Project. Henkensiefken has studied conducting with other maestros including Nikolas Uljanov and Paul Tucker, having trained further with renowned artists including Leonard Slatkin, Gerard Schwarz, Michael Charry, Paul Vermel and Donald Portnoy.
Henkensiefken is a 2013 Foncannon Conducting Scholarship Award winner and will make his conducting debut with the Salina Symphony debut performing the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto featuring his wife, KWU adjunct faculty Tatiana Tessman, in October 2014.
Mr. Henkensiefken is an active member of Mu Phi Epsilon and the Conductors Guild.