Named Artistic Director of Bay View Music Festival in 2007, Chris Ludwa has proven himself to be an effective leader, both on stage and off. In addition to overseeing the intensive eight-week summer concert series and conservatory program in northern Michigan, he is Artistic Director of Encore Vocal Arts, a 36 member, professional caliber vocal ensemble in Indianapolis where he and his wife live. Currently conductor of the Bloomington Pops Orchestra, Ludwa enjoys joining his passion for great music with his love for teaching and collaboration in having served as a conductor for Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, and several churches. He maintains an active freelance schedule while continuing his work as a consultant on various arts-in-education initiatives. He is pursuing doctoral studies at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music in conducting, music education, and group dynamics.
Since receiving his Master's Degree in Conducting from Indiana University, the Cincinnati native worked for Indianapolis Opera as Apprentice Conductor/Outreach Administrator and served as guest conductor for many different organizations including Webster University, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Indiana Repertory Theatre, and various others. In February 2004, he organized a massive clean-up with over 80 volunteers to re-open a 700-seat auditorium in downtown Indianapolis to rave reviews after having been dormant for 40 years. The hall is in use today by several Indianapolis arts organizations and continues to work toward a full renovation.
Ludwa is becoming well-known for innovative, stimulating programming in his work with various musical organizations and hopes to continue to be a visionary force in ways of helping the general public to appreciate an ever-increasing array of musical styles.
After witnessing the power of the arts to motivate and create community, Ludwa is convinced that the wave of the future is to integrate aesthetic process into education, business, government, and daily life. He has gained experience in this area through the educational world as a partner artist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, a consultant/trainer for the Leonard Bernstein-inspired Artful Learning School Reform Model, and at the International School of Indiana as Director of Arts. He has participated in the Thought Leader Forum at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada, a leading institution in the application of aesthetic process to leadership and has since begun writing a book exploring the same topics.
As a devotee of the learning process, Ludwa has taught at the Bay View Association, Butler University, and Indiana University, and is a recipient of the Lilly Endowment-funded Creative Renewal Fellowship Grant, which he used to explore drumming, communication, and values in Ghana, West Africa.
An avid pilot, Ludwa is married to his best friend, Melissa, who is a constant source of inspiration, fun, and intellectual conversation. She is a counselor for Zionsville High School and provides a wealth of perspective on psychological and social dynamics in play within the human mind. Chris and Melissa are new parents as of December, 2008, when they were joined by Alexandre.