Joe Illick, Artistic Director

Joe Illick accepted the role of Artistic Director for Voices of Change starting the 2006-2007 season. Under his leadership, the ensemble has more than doubled its performances and its audiences.

He completed his sixth season as Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Fort Worth Opera in 2008, has a strong presence and high visibility throughout the Metroplex, including appearances as a pianist with the Blue Candlelight and Voces Intimae chamber series.

An active pianist, Illick is an eager and sympathetic participant in chamber music. His role in this capacity is crucial for Voices of Change, which has had a virtuoso pianist as Artistic Director since it was founded by Jo Boatright and Ross Powell in 1974.

Joe is a champion of community outreach. His lectures and informal talks on classical music, composing, and opera are extremely popular. He has given hundreds of live presentations to audiences around the United States and Europe. He has been a guest on numerous radio programs and television broadcasts about classical music. He has already designed new Education Outreach experiences to bring Voices of Change out into the community more than ever, including reviving the Annual Russell Horn Young Composer Competition by forging an alliance with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Illick is also a composer whose symphonic works have been performed in New York, Washington and Santa Fe, and his monodrama Emma was performed on public television. His Ulysses was premiered the summer of 2006 in Italy, and his Trio in B minor for piano, violin and ‘cello was premiered in Dallas February of 2006. He is also an active piano soloist and chamber music pianist.

Maestro Illick has just completed his fourth season as Music Director and Principal Conductor of Fort Worth Opera for the summer Festival of 2008. He has served in a similar capacity for Lake George Opera Festival, Shreveport Opera, Greater Miami Opera (now Florida Grand Opera) and Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. His symphonic conducting includes frequent engagements with the Santa Fe Symphony, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Mid-Columbia Symphony (Washington), Miami Symphony Orchestra, the Augusta Symphony and the Austrian Radio Orchestra. Other opera conducting engagements include Skylight Opera (Milwaukee), the Vienna Chamber Opera, Staattheater Aachen (Germany), the Covent Garden Ensemble (London), Nevada Opera Theater, Teatro Lirico d’Europa, Kansas City Lyric Opera, Opera Carolina and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Most recently Joe was named Artistic Director of the Santa Fe Concert Association.

In June 2007, he conducted the Fort Worth Opera premiere and the world premiere recording of Thomas Pasatieri’s Frau Margot, released in 2007 by Albany Records.

In 2006, Jack Waldenmaier, then President of the Board of Voices of Change declared, “We are confident that Joe Illick will continue the strong tradition of innovation and integrity begun by Jo Boatright and carried on by Buddy Bray. We are thrilled to welcome him as Artistic Director.”