Andrew Megill is recognized as one the leading choral conductors of his generation, admired for both his passionate artistry and his unusually wide-ranging repertoire, which extends from early music to newly composed works. He is Professor and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), where he leads the oldest doctoral program in choral conducting in the United States. In addition, he leads three of North America’s finest professional vocal ensembles: the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Chorus, the Carmel Bach Festival Chorale, and Fuma Sacra. His performances have been praised for their “power, subtlety, and nuance” and “profound spirituality” [Le Devoir, Montreal] and have been described as “piercing the heart like a frozen knife” [Monterey Herald] and “leaving the audience gasping in amazement” [Classical NJ].
Dr. Megill frequently collaborates with the world’s leading orchestras. He has prepared choirs for the American Composers’ Orchestra, American Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonie, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and Venice Baroque Orchestra for conductors including Pierre Boulez, Charles Dutoit, Joseph Flummerfelt, Rafael Frühbeck du Burgos, Alan Gilbert, Jane Glover, Neeme Järvi, Zdenek Macal, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, John Nelson, and Julius Rudel. An accomplished orchestral conductor, he has led the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra, I Musici de Montréal Chamber Orchestra, Masterwork Orchestra, Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, and Sinfonia da Camera (Urbana, IL), and made his debut conducting the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in 2014.
Dr. Megill is particularly admired for his performances of Baroque choral works. He regularly collaborates with leaders in the field of historically-informed performance, including Masaaki Suzuki, Ton Koopman, Bruno Weil, Andrea Marcon, Paul Goodwin, Julianne Baird, Elizabeth Wallfisch, Nancy Wilson, Peter Hanson, and John Holloway. He has conducted many period-instrument orchestras, including Piffaro, Rebel, Sinfonia NYC, Brandywine Baroque, the Sebastians, Tempesta di Mare, and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra. He has led Bach festivals at the University of Illinois, Westminster Choir College, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and in Ireland at the Dublin Institute of Technology.
Dr. Megill previously served as Music Director of the Masterwork Chorus and Orchestra (with whom he frequently performed in Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls) and Chorusmaster for the Spoleto Festival USA (where he trained “the finest opera chorus in the world” [Charleston Post and Courier]). He has been a guest artist with the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, TENET vocal ensemble, the Juilliard Opera Center, and Emmanuel Music (Boston), and served as interim choirmaster for Trinity Church (Wall Street) in Manhattan. Prior to his appointment at the University of Illinois, he taught at Westminster Choir College for more than twenty years.
Dr. Megill is a frequent champion of music of our own time. He has conducted regional or world premieres of works by Caleb Burhans, Paul Chihara, Dominic DiOrio, Sven-David Sandström, Caroline Shaw, Lewis Spratlan, Steven Stucky, Jon Magnussen, Arvo Pärt, and Krzysztof Penderecki, and has collaborated with the Bang on a Can All-stars, the Mark Morris Dance Company, folk singer Judy Collins, puppeteer Basil Twist, and filmmaker Ridley Scott. Recordings of choirs conducted or prepared by him may be heard on the Decca, EMI, Canteloupe, Naxos, Albany, and CBC labels.