BME, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; MM, Northwestern University
Now celebrating his 23rd season as Music Director and Conductor of the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra, American conductor Donald Schleicher has also served as Music Director of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and as Music Director and Principal Conductor/Artistic Director for the Pine Mountain Music Festival.
Schleicher has conducted the National Philharmonic of the Ukraine, the Guiyang (China) Symphony, the Gwangju (South Korea) Symphony, the Inchon (South Korea) Philharmonic, the Daegu (South Korea) Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta Filarmonica de la UNAM of Mexico City, the South Dakota Symphony, and the orchestras of Bridgeport, Tallahassee, and Lansing. He has also appeared as a guest conductor at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in Detroit. In 2015, he returned to the PMMF to lead the festival’s 25th Anniversary Season by conducting their production of “The Barber of Seville” as well as leading the PMMF Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s monumental “Symphony No. 9.” In 2016, he guest conducted the Nairobi Orchestra in Kenya.
He is frequently invited to lead performances or provide conducting master classes at many of the countries major music schools such as the University of Colorado, the University of Texas, Oberlin Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, Baylor University, University of Minnesota, Ithaca College, Ohio State University, the University of Missouri, and Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. As an enthusiastic advocate of public school music education, Mr. Schleicher has conducted All-State orchestras, festivals, and youth orchestras in nearly every state of the United States. He is also active as a clinician for public school music educators.
As a conducting professor, Mr. Schleicher’s class at Illinois is an international draw for talented young conductors. Many of his former conducting students have gone on to hold prestigious positions with organizations such as the San Francisco Symphony, the Hartford Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, Richmond Philharmonic, and the University of Chicago. Schleicher has taught conducting in Europe every summer for the past ten years having served as the lead teacher for the International Conducting Workshop and Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria. In addition, he has led workshops for the International Conducting Institute in Kromeriz, Czech Republic, the New York Conducting Institute, the Ithaca College International Conducting Workshop, and Conducting Master Class and Workshop Series in Chicago.
As a dedicated advocate of contemporary music, Donald has collaborated with leading composers including Chen Yi, Michael Daugherty, and Frank Ticheli among many others. In December of 2014, his collaboration with Augusta Read Thomas led to a recording project of her works now available on Nimbus Records.