Rena Kraut, Founder/Executive Director

Rena Kraut is an active freelance performer whose recent work includes concerts with IRIS Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota. She plays frequently with the Minnesota Orchestra, including on their historic tour to Cuba. Dr. Kraut is principal clarinetist of the Mill City Summer Opera Orchestra and has held positions with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and the Sarasota and Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestras. Dr. Kraut received her D.M.A. from the University of Minnesota, where she studied with Burt Hara, and she holds degrees from Rice and Northwestern Universities.

A devoted educator, Dr. Kraut has taught musicians young and old for over 20 years, including beginners, college students, and retirees. She directs the summer music camps at the Saint Paul Conservatory of Music, is an active clinician, and coaches award-winning chamber ensembles in the Twin Cities. As an admirer of Latin American culture, she has happily co-led teenage student exchanges to Costa Rica and Argentina in addition to travels in Spain and Cuba.

Timothy Zavadil, Director of Artistic Operations

Timothy Zavadil joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 2007 as clarinetist and bass clarinetist. A versatile instrumentalist, Zavadil has also performed with the orchestra on Eb clarinet, contrabass clarinet, and basset horn, as well as soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones. Previously a member of the Louisville Orchestra, Toledo Symphony Orchestra and Civic Orchestra of Chicago, he has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, and the Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, National, Toronto, and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras. He has toured with the Minnesota Orchestra to Europe, Cuba, and South Africa. ​In 2017, Zavadil joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota, and in 2015, he helped form the Minnesota Orchestra’s rock band (MOB), as a guitarist. Zavadil also currently serves as the Director of Artistic Operations for the Cuban American Youth Orchestra – an organization seeking to bring together young musicians from the US and Cuba in an effort of cultural diplomacy. A native of St. Louis, MO, Tim holds degrees in music from DePaul University and Northwestern University.

Brooke Knoll, Intern

Brooke Knoll is a harpist from the Twin Cities metro area. Musically inclined from a young age, she has been playing since the age of six. She has been taught traditional harp as well as the Suzuki method, and also has background in piano and cello. Brooke had the honor of being a member of the ’15-’16 MN All State Orchestra. She also was a soloist for the MacPhail Concerto and Aria concert, as well as for her high school’s concerto competition. She has played with a myriad of ensembles, including the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra and the MacPhail Faculty Orchestra. Brooke has also performed at local variety and talent shows, playing and arranging contemporary and classical music. She performed with the Roseville String Ensemble on their Spring 2017 Concert. 

Most recently, she was a soloist for the MacPhail Suzuki 50th Anniversary Gala Alumni Benefit Recital

Brooke is currently a student at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business, with her majors being Entrepreneurship and Public Non-Profit Management. She is also receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Music – Harp Emphasis.

Officers and Board

Rena Kraut, Executive Director
Tim Zavadil, Director of Artistic Operations
Brad Brown, Board Chair
Cynthia Newport, Vice-Chair
Richard Walch, Treasurer
Conor McGill, Secretary
Rick Heydinger
Elizabeth Lorenz-Meyer
Mark Raderstorf
Gary Stevens
Emily Wingfield

Advisory Board

Osmo Vänskä, Music Director, Minnesota Orchestra
Neeta Helms, owner, Classical Movements, Inc.
Libby Larsen, composer; co-founder, American Composer’s Forum
Melissa Kraut, Co-head Cello Department, Cleveland Institute of Music/Sitka International Cello Seminar, Founder and Education Director
Mark Gillespie, Creative Director and General Manager, Youth Orchestra of the Americas
Jessica Lustig, Founding Partner and Managing Director, 21C Media Group
Fernando Meza, Associate Professor of Percussion, University of Minnesota/Coach, Youth Orchestra of the Americas
Nathaniel Zeisler, Director of Community Engagement and Career Development, Colburn School

Brian Newhouse, Minnesota Public Radio
Bruce Falconer, Senior Editor, The American Scholar
Andrew Goldberg, VP Marketing, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
Alberto Monserrate, Co-Founder and CEO, New Publica, LLC

Public Affairs
Roberta Braga, Assistant Director, Adrienne Arsht Latin American Center, Atlantic Council
Edythe M. Holbrook, VP and Trustee, National Committee on American Foreign Policy/Founder and President of American Russian Youth Orchestra
David Horwich, Advocacy Campaigns & Philanthropic and Political Counsel, Beyond Advisers

Business Advisors
Joe Arriola, Chairman of Public Health Trust at Jackson Memorial Hospital/former City Manager of Miami
Chris Simpson, CEO, Wenger Corporation
Jorge Giannattasio, Chief of Latin American Operations, Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Collin Laverty, Senior Partner, Havana Strategies/President, Cuba Educational Travel

Artistic and Digital Communications
Megan Moore Smith
Randi Yoder, Senior VP and Chief Development Officer, Minnesota Public Radio

2018 Impact Report
Read how CAYO has achieved several milestones in the 2018 Impact Report [PDF].

Christopher Mort, Intern

My name is Chris and I am an international student studying in the U.S. at the University of Minnesota on a one-year exchange program.  However, I am originally from Manchester in the U.K, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in International Business and Economics at the University of Leeds.

In my free time, I love travelling the world and have visited many countries such as Spain, France and the U.S. Alongside this, I previously attended a Summer School within Hong Kong for 6 weeks where I enrolled myself in classes such as World Cuisine and Global Economic Environment. In addition, I have been a key member within the University of Leeds Buddy Scheme in the U.K. where I successfully integrated exchange students within the Leeds community.

Furthermore, I pursue a vast array of activities outside of academics such as Swimming and Water Polo and as a result I was named club captain in 2016 by the members of the committee.  I have also worked with other non-profits such as a local church youth group where I raised money by being sponsored to go to 6am mass throughout Lent to send volunteers to deprived countries to assist with projects to improve their quality of life. This led me to organise a further event of a cake sale, in order to raise money for Zoe’s Place which is a children’s hospice in Liverpool where me and my team consequently raised £300.