Donald SchleicherAssociate Professor and Chair of the Orchestra Division
B.M.E., University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; M.M., Northwestern University
Donald Schleicher is in his twelfth season as Professor of Conducting and Music Director of the University of Illinois Orchestras in Urbana-Champaign. Previous positions include Music Director and Conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and Music Director and Principal Opera Conductor of the Pine Mountain Music Festival. His college conducting career began at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and continued with a nine-year tenure on the conducting faculty at the University of Michigan. At the outset of his career, he was a high school band director in Williamsville, New York.
Mr. Schleicher has been a conducting fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and has studied with numerous respected conductors including Gustav Meier, Simon Rattle, Seiji Ozawa, Maurice Abravanel, and Roger Norrington.
Schleicher has conducted the Daegu (South Korea) Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmonica de la UNAM of Mexico City, South Dakota Symphony, and the orchestras of Bridgeport, Tallahassee, and Lansing. He has appeared as a guest conductor at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and also served as a cover conductor for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
He is frequently invited to lead performances or provide conducting master classes at many of the nation's major music schools such as the Oberlin Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, Baylor University, University of Minnesota, Ithaca College, Ohio State University, 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.
As a conducting professor, Mr. Schleicher's class at the University of Illinois is a draw for talented young conductors from throughout the world. Many of his former conducting students have gone on to hold prestigious positions with organizations such as the San Francisco Opera, Richmond Philharmonic, and Seattle Symphony. In the summers, he is Co-Director of the Illinois Orchestra Conducting Workshop.
In the fall of 2007, Mr. Schleicher led the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra in a concert featuring the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 (with Ian Hobson, piano) and the Shostakovich Symphony No. 12 at Orchestra Hall in Chicago.
The University of Illinois orchestral division's mission is to provide significant orchestral training and performance experience. It is hoped that the experience will be an essential, vital, and memorable part of the student's education and development at Illinois.