Chorus Director and Staff Bios

Amy Kaiser, Director

Amy KaiserDirector of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus since 1995, Amy Kaiser is one of the country’s leading choral directors. She has conducted the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah, Schubert’s Mass in E-flat, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and sacred works by Haydn and Mozart, as well as Young People’s Concerts. Guest conductor for the Berkshire Choral Festival in Massachusetts, Santa Fe and at Canterbury Cathedral and Music Director of the Dessoff Choirs in New York for 12 seasons, she led many performances of major works at Lincoln Center.

Other conducting engagements include Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival, Peter Schickele’s PDQ Bach with the New Jersey Symphony, and more than 50 performances with the Metropolitan Opera Guild. Principal Conductor of the New York Chamber Symphony’s School Concert Series for seven seasons, Kaiser also led Jewish Opera at the Y, and many programs for the 92nd Street Y’s acclaimed Schubertiade. She has prepared choruses for the New York Philharmonic, Ravinia Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, and Opera Orchestra of New York.

Kaiser is a regular pre-concert speaker for the SLSO and presents popular classes for the Symphony Lecture Series and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. A former faculty member at Manhattan School of Music and The Mannes College of Music, she was a Fulbright Fellow at Oxford University and holds a degree in musicology from Columbia University. A graduate of Smith College, she was awarded the Smith College Medal for outstanding professional achievement.

Accompanist Gail HintzGail Hintz, Accompanist

Gail Hintz, accompanist since 1997, is a graduate of Webster College (piano performance) and has a master's degree from the University of Illinois (vocal accompanying and coaching). She served on the music faculty at Washington University as vocal coach/accompanist and is currently the pianist for the annual Metropolitan Opera National Council St. Louis auditions.



Assist Director Leon BurkeLeon Burke, Assistant Director

Leon Burke, assistant director, holds music degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Kansas. He conducts the University City Symphony and the Belleville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and sometimes serves as a cover conductor for the St. Louis Symphony. Dr. Burke teaches voice privately and  is an adjunct professor of voice at St. Louis University and East Central College. He is the choir director at Eliot Chapel in Kirkwood, Missouri and appears regularly during the summers at the Chaparral Music Festival in Prescott, AZ as well as Principal Guest Conductor of the Asuncion Symphony and Paraguay's version of "El Sistema," Sonidos de la Tierra.


Manager Susan PattersonSusan Patterson, Manager

Susan Patterson, Manager of Choral Activities at the St. Louis Symphony, holds a master’s degree from Washington University in Music Education. Patterson became a member of the Symphony staff in 2009 following a lengthy tenure at the St. Louis Art Museum. She now manages both the Symphony Chorus and the IN UNISON Chorus and sings in the alto section with both groups.