“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 leads the award-winning Chorus Austin as conductor and artistic director, having joined Austin’s vibrant classical music scene in 2009.
Last year, Mr. Heller and Chorus Austin were honored as winner of the national Chorus America/ASCAP Alice Parker Award, given to recognize a chorus for programming recently composed music. The group also was twice a national finalist for the prestigious American Prize under Mr. Heller’s guidance. And in 2012, Chorus Austin was named one of the Top 10 Classical Musical Treasures by Robert Faires of the Austin Chronicle.
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.
He is co-founder, conductor and artistic director of the Portland Vocal Consort, one of Portland, Oregon’s, premier professional choirs, and serves as director of the award-winning Pride of Portland Chorus of Sweet Adelines International. He also has served as conductor and artistic director with the Southwest Washington Symphony and Columbia Chorale of Oregon, a group he co-founded.
In September Mr. Heller was Music Director/Conductor for the world premiere of the opera The Canticle of the Black Madonna in Portland. He also has been music director for productions including Brigadoon, Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore, Sweeney Todd, Annie, Company and Into the Woods. An active performer, he has appeared and/or recorded with 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. He is in frequent demand as a conductor, singer and coach.
Ryan Heller is thrilled to be in his sixth season leading Chorus Austin in its 50th anniversary year. For this artist, it is about making passionate music with passionate people and sharing it with Austin and the Central Texas community.