Arash Ertefai, conductor
Iranian-American conductor Arash Ertefai has led professional, college, and youth orchestras across the country and around the world. Equally comfortable in the styles of symphony, opera, chamber, and popular music, he is renowned for his passionate and exciting performances that inspire audiences of all types.
Ertefai currently serves as the principal conductor and co-artistic director with the Cactus Chamber Musicians. He also serves as the Director of Orchestras at BASIS Chandler where he teaches over 220 students from grades 5-12 that comprise five orchestras.
Prior appointments include Assistant Conductor ProMusica Arizona, Assistant Conductor of the NAU Orchestras, Music Director of the Flagstaff Chamber Players, Assistant Conductor of the NAU Academy Orchestra, and Apprentice Conductor of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra. Ertefai completed a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from Northern Arizona University, and was mentored by some of the fields leading experts, including Neil Varon, Mark Gibson, Sasha Mäkilä, and Daniel O’Bryant. During his time at NAU, he conducted full performances of four operas including Le Nozze di Figaro and Trial By Jury as well as countless symphonic concerts. He has conducted orchestras across the country and around the work including, the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, St. Michel Strings (Finland), Pärnu City Orchestra (Estonia), Berlin Sinfonietta, and the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, among others.
Arash is also an accomplished violinist who has spent time performing with many of the orchestras throughout Northern Arizona as well as many in the valley. He studied violin with Dr. Louise Scott and Shelley Rich at NAU and has played in master classes for many leading musicians such as Elena Urioste, The Harlem Quartet, Fritz Gearhart, and Steven Moekel. He currently performs with the Zenith Quartet, a quartet he founded in 2015 upon returning to the Phoenix area.