A violinist performs with the Life Sciences Orchestra
About the Life Sciences Orchestra

The Life Sciences Orchestra (LSO) is the symphonic orchestra for members of the life sciences community at the University of Michigan. (Read about how the LSO defines this community in the FAQ.)

The LSO is part of the Arts in Health/Gifts of Art program, which brings the world of art and music to Michigan Medicine, and supported entirely by member dues and donations.

The LSO plays two free concerts a year which draw community members and friends and family of the extended University of Michigan life sciences community. Learn about our past concerts here.

The orchestra was founded in fall of 2000 by a small group of musicians and artists at what was then called the U-M Health System, under the umbrella of the Gifts of Art Program. The concept was to provide a performance outlet for the many faculty, staff, students, alumni and volunteers in life science disciplines at the university who had previous musical training but few opportunities to play.

The LSO offers musicians in the life sciences an opportunity to play in a large ensemble, while building a sense of community across the different components of the life sciences on the University of Michigan campus. It also offers conducting students from U-M’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance an opportunity to lead a full symphony orchestra in preparing and playing major works of the classical repertoire.

Every other year, the LSO holds a Concerto Competition to choose soloist(s) for an upcoming concert or concerts. Learn more about the Concerto Competition, and see a list of past winners, here.

Executive Committee

The LSO is run by a volunteer executive committee that meets throughout the year to plan and coordinate all LSO activities in conjunction with the music director.

The committee members are currently: 

William Burnham, J.D. – Retired law professor, Wayne State University
Michael DiPietro, M.D. –   Professor Emeritus of Radiology, Medical School
Kara Gavin, M.S. –  Lead public relations representative, Michigan Medicine Department of Communication and Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation
Ellen Guise - Retiree, Michigan Medicine Health Information and Technology Services
Ellen Janke, M.D. – Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, Medical School
Angie Noble – Retiree, Department of Radiology, Medical School
Elaine Sims – Director, Gifts of Art
Fran Wakefield, CRNA – Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Department of Anesthesiology, Medical School

The committee relies on the staff of the Arts in Health program, the LSO’s parent organization, for administrative and financial duties.

You can reach the committee by emailing [email protected].

Music Director

The position of Music Director for the LSO is named in honor of Dr. Evangeline Spindler and Dr. Harold Juran.

Luca Antonucci, M.M., serves as the Music Director for fall 2023 and early winter 2024. He will be assisted by Sara Aldana. 

Read more about Antonucci and Aldana here.

Past Music Directors:

  • Yeo Ryeong Ahn, 2021-2022, 2022-2023
  • Tal Benatar, 2019-2020, 2020-2021 (virtual only)
  • Chelsea Gallo, 2017-2018, 2018-2019
  • Roberto Kalb, 2015-2016, 2016-2017
  • Adrian Slywotzky, 2013-2014, 2014-2015
  • Oriol Sans, 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013
  • Robert Boardman, 2009-2010
  • Mark Latham, 2008-2009
  • Clinton Smith, 2006-2007, 2007-2008
  • John Goodell, 2004-2005, 2005-2006
  • Laura Jackson, 2002-2003, 2003-2004
  • Mitchell Williams, 2000-2001, 2001-2002
Contact Us
Arts in Health
NI-5E06, NIB
300 North Ingalls
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5470
Phone: 734-936-ARTS