Associate Conductor John Varineau is in his fourth decade on the podium for the Grand Rapids Symphony, where he conducts concerts on nearly all of its series, including the Fox Motors Pops, the Gerber SymphonicBoom, the DTE Energy Foundation Family, and the PNC Lollipop as well as for a variety of educational and outreach concerts throughout the area.
The 2017-18 season marks his 33rd year as a conductor with the Grand Rapids Symphony and 30th anniversary season as conductor of the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra. Additionally, he conducts the Grand Rapids Symphony in performances with the Grand Rapids Ballet including the world premiere in 2014 of a new version of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, a production co-designed by Grand Rapids native Chris Van Allsburg, author and illustrator of The Polar ExpressLast season, Varineau conducted the Phoenix Symphony in two separate programs. Other orchestras he’s conducted previously include the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, and Traverse City Symphony Orchestra as well as the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Oklahoma City Philharmonic. He formerly served as music director of the Holland Chamber Orchestra (now the Holland Symphony Orchestra).
A clarinetist, John Varineau presents solo recitals and plays in the contemporary music group, Ensemble Montage, and the woodwind trio, ma non troppo. He is an adjunct professor of music at Calvin College where he conducts the Calvin College Orchestra and teaches clarinet and occasional academic courses. He also conducts the Calvin Community Symphony, an ensemble open to both Calvin alumni and community musicians.
Committed to nurturing the next generation of classical music lovers, Varineau is a frequent visitor to area schools and shares an infectious enthusiasm with students throughout West Michigan.
A native of Laramie, Wyoming, Varineau attended Michigan State University and the University of Wyoming for his clarinet training and earned his master’s degree at Yale School of Music.
He has made three recordings with the Grand Rapids Symphony and three with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He married his wife, Gwen, in the same year that he joined the Grand Rapids Symphony. They have a daughter, Jade, and a son, Justin.
Program: ma non troppo
Divertimento No. 2 W.A. Mozart
Trio Gordon Jacob
Cinq Pieces en Trio Jacques Ibert
The Sequoia Trio Jenni Brandon
Five Bagatelles for Wind Trio Christopher Ball
John Varineau, clarinet
Sondra Cross, clarinet
Genevieve Beaulieu, bassoon