Thomas M. George, Executive Director
Executive Director and Founder of the Madeline Island Chamber Music (MICM), received his B.F.A. summa cum lauda and M.M. degrees in piano performance at the University of Minnesota where he was a student of Bernhard Weiser. A regular performer with members of the MICM faculty including the principal players of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra during our first ten years, Mr. George now focuses on working with the Board of Directors to raise money, recruit students and manage the MICM’s finances and real estate. Since its founding in 1986, Mr. George has developed the MICM from a one-week chamber music program for 20 students from Minnesota and Wisconsin to a six- week program of intensive music study and performance for young string players and pianists, woodwind players and amateur adult musicians. Up to 100 students study each year on Madeline Island and come from throughout the United States and several foreign countries. Mr. George has raised over 2 million dollars to fund the development of a 10 acre campus which includes three cottage-style dormitories housing up to 50 students, nine ensemble and twelve solo practice rooms. Mr. George guided the purchase and remodeling of the former Dillon O’Brien Center renamed the Mary Lange Music Center, which serves as the program’s administrative center, student cafeteria and lounge, music library and concert box office and the renovation of The Clubhouse which was gifted to us in 2001 by the our founding benefactor Mary Rice.
Dale E. Deines, Director of Operations
Dale Deines became the Director of Operations at Madeline Island Chamber Music during its 17th Season in 2002. Before entering college Deines was a Legislative Correspondent for a U. S. Senator. His education at the University of Minnesota included Urban Studies and English. Prior to joining the administrative team at MICM, Deines worked for Arthur Anderson as a systems administrator and as an account executive at Cevette and Company, an Advertising Agency in Minneapolis. He serves as the Chief Financial Officer for MICM and is responsible for budgeting, arranging housing for faculty and staff, student registration and managing part time and seasonal staff. In his fifteen years with MICM, Deines has helped the development of the program by creating efficient operating systems and through his excellent customer relations and management style.
Jonathan Swartz, Artistic Director
Praised by The Strad for his “impeccable playing” and “gorgeously viola-like tone,” violinist Jonathan Swartz enjoys a multi-faceted career. His recent solo CD, Suite Inspiration (Soundset Recordings), received much critical acclaim. John Terauds of Musical Toronto comments, “Swartz sounds as if his bow were strung with threads of silk rather than horsehair,” and calls his performance of Bach’s Chaconne “something to treasure.”
A devoted pedagogue, Swartz serves on the faculties of Arizona State University, the Madeline Island Chamber Music, and the Domaine Forget Academy. He has previously taught at the University of Texas at El Paso, Round Top Festival, Interlochen Arts Camp, Innsbrook Institute, and the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory. Sought after as a master clinician, and frequent presenter at the American String Teachers Association National Conferences, his approach to bow technique was featured in a STRINGS magazine article in 2006.
Swartz is the founder and Artistic Director of the Visiting Quartet Residency Program at Arizona State University, a chamber music program that integrates visiting resident artists with a comprehensive chamber music curriculum. He has also been instrumental in shaping the curriculum for the violin program at the Domaine Forget Academy. He presently serves as Artistic Director for Madeline Island Chamber Music, and as President for ASTA-AZ.
For more information, visit jonathan-swartz.com
Jonathan Kresha, Director of Camp Operations
Jonathan Kresha’s first association with Madeline Island Chamber Music was as a viola student in 1998 when he graduated high school. He attended another two summers after that while studying viola at Indiana University in Bloomington where he graduated with a degree in viola performance. He has held various positions with MICM over the years beginning as a counselor and continued to add other responsibilities including recording concerts, assisting with house keeping, and stage managing. His current position as Director of Camp Operations includes facilities management and maintenance, supervising the housekeeping and kitchen staff and managing all aspects of concerts from climate control, recording, to stage lighting and setting up concessions. During the school year Jonathan teaches High School Spanish and Middle School Exploratory languages in French, Spanish and German in Duluth, Minnesota. He also performs with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and teaches viola lessons.