Donald Schleicher ’77 MMus has been appointed Director of Orchestras and Artist-in-Residence at the Bienen School of Music for a four-year term, beginning September 1, 2023.
During the 2022-2023 academic year, Schleicher is serving as guest music director at the Bienen School, where he conducts the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra and teaches master's orchestral conducting students. He is also currently resident conductor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.
He previously served for 26 years as director of orchestras at the University of Illinois, where he was awarded the title of Daniel J. Perrino Professor Emeritus, School of Music, College of Fine and Applied Arts. Other previous positions include music director and conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, music director and principal opera conductor for the Pine Mountain Music Festival, and associate director of bands and associate director of orchestras at the University of Michigan.
Schleicher has conducted ensembles across the U.S. and internationally in South Korea, China, Ukraine, and Mexico. 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. An enthusiastic advocate of public school music education, Schleicher has conducted all-state orchestras, festivals, and youth orchestras in nearly every state of the United States.
Many of Schleicher’s former students have gone on to hold prestigious conducting positions with orchestras and opera companies across the globe. He is a lead teacher for the International Conducting Workshop and Festival as well as the Conducting Master Class and Workshop Series. Schleicher holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Northwestern University.