Steven Amundson joined the music faculty at St. Olaf College in the fall of 1981. He currently serves as Professor of Music and Conductor of the St. Olaf Orchestra, and teaches courses in conducting and music theory. Under Amundson's direction, the St. Olaf Orchestra has toured widely throughout the United States, Europe, and China, and has been featured on Austrian National Radio, National Public Radio, National Public Television, and at regional and national music conventions. The orchestra was featured on Garrison Keilor’s A Prairie Home Companion for the second time in November 2011.
Prior to his appointment at St. Olaf, Amundson held conducting posts at the University of Virginia, Tacoma Community College, and as Music Director of the Tacoma Youth Symphony. He is the founding conductor of the Twin Cities' based Metropolitan Symphony and served as Music Director and Conductor of the Bloomington Symphony from 1984 – 1997. He has been both a resident conductor and guest conductor for the Interlochen National Arts Camp, led the Lutheran Summer Music Camp Symphony, and served as guest conductor for many All-State and Honors Orchestra festivals throughout the United States, most recently with the New Jersey, Texas, Illinois, and Tennessee All-State Orchestras. He is contracted to lead the Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and North Dakota All-States in the next few years. Amundson has guest conducted professional ensembles in Minnesota including the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra, the Fargo/Moorhead Symphony and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
A commissioned composer and arranger, Amundson is published by Lauren Keiser Music and the Neil A. Kjos Music Co. Tempo Music Resource distributes his self-published works. His orchestral compositions have received over 700 performances by university, civic and professional orchestras including the Atlanta, Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, Oregon, San Diego, Utah and Toronto Symphonies. His Angels’ Dance is featured on the 2003 Houston Symphony’s A Christmas Festival Holiday CD and also on the 2001 Cincinnati Pops Holiday CD.
A 1977 graduate of Luther College, Amundson obtained the Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University and did further studies at the University of Virginia, the Aspen Music School and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. He has enjoyed the tutelage of notable conductors including Maurice Abravanel, Milan Horvat, and Erich Leinsdorf.
In the 1980 International Conducting Competition hosted by the Mozarteum and Austrian National Radio, Amundson placed first earning the Hans Haring Prize. In 1992, the Minnesota Music Education Association named him "Minnesota Orchestra Educator of the Year." In the fall of 1995, Amundson received the Carlo A. Sperati Award from Luther College in recognition of his meritorious achievement in the field of music.
Amundson was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and grew up near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is married to Jane, a secondary mathematics teacher and amateur cellist. They have two children, Beret and Karl.