Artistic Director of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society, Kenneth Slowik first established his international reputation primarily as a cellist and viola da gamba player through his work with the Smithsonian Chamber Players, Castle Trio, Smithson String Quartet, Axelrod Quartet, and with Anner Bylsma’s L’Archibudelli. Conductor of the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra since 1988, he became conductor of the Santa Fe Bach Festival in 1998, and led the Santa Fe Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra from 1999 to 2004. He has been a soloist and/or conductor with numerous other orchestras, including the National Symphony, the Baltimore, Vancouver, and Québec Symphonies, the Filharmonia Sudecka, the Pleven Philharmonic, the Polska Orkiestra Sinfonia Iuventus, the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic, and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Slowik’s impressive discography comprises over eighty recordings featuring him as conductor, cellist, gambist, and keyboard player for music ranging from the Baroque (Marais, Pandolfi, Couperin, Corelli, Bach) through the Classical (Haydn, Boccherini, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert) and Romantic (Mendelssohn, Schumann, Onslow, Gade, Spohr) to the twentieth century (Schönberg, Mahler, Richard Strauss, Copland, Stravinsky). Of these, many have won prestigious international awards, including France’s Diapason d’Or and Choc, the “British Music Retailers’ Award for Excellence,” Italy’s Premio Internazionale del Disco Antonio Vivaldi, two GRAMMY® nominations, and numerous “Record of the Month” and “Record of the Year” prizes. More recent releases include several CDs of Haydn baryton trios with the ensemble Esterházy Machine, a disk of Shostakovich Chamber Symphonies, traversals of Schubert’s Winterreise and Die schöne Müllerin with tenor John Elwes, a DVD film about Schönberg’s First Chamber Symphony and Verklärte Nacht, and a disc containing his own chamber orchestra arrangements of Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder and Rückert Lieder. For nearly two decades a faculty member at Québec’s L’Académie de musique du Domaine Forget, he currently teaches at the University of Maryland, the American Bach Soloists Academy, and the Baroque Performance Institute at the Oberlin College Conservatory, where he has served as Artistic Director since 1993. In 2011, he was named recipient of the Smithsonian Secretary’s Distinguished Scholar Award.