Donald Schleicher will be Northwestern University Bienen School of Music Artist in Residence, Director of Orchestras starting in the 2023-24 school year. This year, he is serving as guest music director at the Bienen School and Resident Conductor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. After twenty-six years as Director of Orchestras at the University of Illinois, he was awarded the title of Daniel J. Perrino Professor Emeritus, School of Music, College of Fine and Applied Arts. Previous positions include Music Director and Conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and Music Director and Principal Opera Conductor for the Pine Mountain Music Festival. At the outset of his career, he spent seven years as a high school band director in Williamsville, New York and two years as Director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. In addition, he served as both Associate Director of Bands and Associate Director of Orchestras at the University of Michigan.
Schleicher has conducted the National Philharmonic of Ukraine, the Daegu (South Korea) Symphony Orchestra, the Incheon (South Korea) Philharmonic, the Gwangju Symphony (South Korea), the Guiyang (China) Symphony, the Orquesta Filarmonica de la UNAM of Mexico City, the 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 has 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 country’s major music schools such as the Oberlin Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, Baylor University, University of Minnesota, Ithaca College, Ohio State University, and the 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 teacher, Mr. Schleicher regularly appears as conducting clinician and is currently engaged as a lead teacher for the International Conducting Workshop and Festival as well as the Conducting Master Class and Workshop Series. Many of his former conducting students have gone on to hold prestigious conducting positions with orchestras and opera companies across the globe.