“There is a transforming power to great choral music that we want to share with you.”
– Ryan Heller, Chorus Austin Artistic Director and Conductor
Described as exciting, dynamic and charismatic, Ryan Heller serves as Chorus Austin’s Conductor and Artistic Director, joining the Austin classical music scene in 2009. When not in Texas, Mr. Heller is Conductor and Artistic Director of the Southwest Washington Symphony. He is Co-founder, Conductor and Artistic Director of the Portland Vocal Consort, one of Portland, Oregon’s, premier professional choirs, and also serves as Director of the award-winning Pride of Portland Chorus of Sweet Adelines International. From 2001 to 2009, he was Conductor and Artistic Director of the Columbia Chorale of Oregon, a group he co-founded.
Mr. Heller has led ensembles across the United States with appearances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Chicago’s Symphony Hall. He has toured internationally in Italy, Germany, Estonia, Sweden and, most recently, China, where he led combined choirs from Texas at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing and at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. Among his honors, Mr. Heller and Chorus Austin were finalists for the prestigious American Prize for Outstanding Choral Performance in 2010. In 2008, he was nominated for a Portland Music Award as “Outstanding Classical Musician.” He also received the Dean’s Award from Chapman University and a Young Artists’ Award from the National Recording Academy.
Mr. Heller has served as Musical Director of a wide variety of productions throughout the West Coast, including Brigadoon, Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore, Sweeney Todd, Annie, Company and Into the Woods. As an active performer, he has appeared and/or recorded with groups such as the Portland Opera, William Hall Master Chorale, Choral Cross-Ties, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Capella Romana, Lakewood Theater Company and the Broadway Rose Theater Company.
An Oregon native, Mr. Heller received his Master of Music degree in Conducting from Portland State University and his Bachelor’s of Music degree in Conducting from Chapman University. Throughout his career, he has had the opportunity of working with Dr. Bruce Browne, Dr. William Hall, Dr. Keith Clark, Dan Lewis and Simon Carrington.
Ryan Heller is in frequent demand as a conductor, singer and coach; hailed by critics as “exciting, charismatic, and intelligent – a young conductor to keep our eyes on.” He is thrilled to be at the helm of Chorus Austin and looks forward to many years of sharing great music with Austin and the Central Texas community.