Dr. Joseph Holt
Dr. Joseph Holt enjoys a wide-ranging musical career as conductor, pianist, chamber music performer, arts administrator, educator and arranger. This is his fourth season as Artistic Director for
Gloria Musicae, Sarasota's professional choral ensemble. Under his leadership the organization has
grown and garnered accolades for its innovative programming and superior vocal quality. In the
community of Sarasota, he is also Artist in Residence at Faith Lutheran Church and has appeared
as pianist and conductor for the Artist Series Concerts, Musical Mondays of the Sarasota Institute of
Lifetime Learning, and with the Sarasota Orchestra.
During the summer of 2011, he recruited and rehearsed a chorus comprised of singers from
around southwest Florida for a special program in Sarasota commemorating the tenth anniversary
of 9/11. He made his conducting debut with the Sarasota Orchestra during these concerts at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. With Gloria Musicae, he premiered the newly revised critical edition
of Petite Messe Solennelle by Gioachino Rossini at the Sarasota Opera House in April, 2010. The
celebrated choral ensemble has been invited to perform at the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival
in the summer of 2012 where the ensemble will present an all-American program featuring the
European premiere of The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by René Clausen. He served as Interim
Artistic Director for the acclaimed Master Chorale of Tampa Bay in the spring of 2010, preparing
Elijah for performances with The Florida Orchestra and presenting an all-Broadway concert in
Tampa and St. Petersburg.
Dr. Holt served more than twenty years as principal pianist with The United States Army Chorus
in Washington, DC, performing for US Presidents, dignitaries from around the world and military
officials. He also held the position of Associate Music Director for The Choral Arts Society of Washington for fifteen years. During his tenure with Choral Arts, he conducted Singers For All Seasons, a community outreach ensemble, and successfully led the organization in the highly popular Family Christmas Concerts at the Kennedy Center. Dr. Holt made his Choral Arts conducting debut with Ariel Ramírez's Misa Criolla during the 2002/2003 Season. Misa Criolla was subsequently recorded with Navidad Nuestra by Ramírez and Missa Luba on the NAXOS label and released internationally to critical acclaim. This recording was awarded the 2006 Washington Area Music Award for Best Classical Recording. With Choral Arts he has also conducted a performance at the Chester Summer Music Festival during the Society's tour of England in the summer of 2002; conducted a performance of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall; and conducted two programs at the National Presbyterian Church including the North American
premiere of John Tavener's Lament for Jerusalem and the world premiere of Missa pro Pace by Kentaro Sato. In July of 2000, he was one of 10 conductors who prepared a chorus of 2000 voices for the world premiere of Maury Yeston's Cantata 2000 in a performance by the National Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin conducting, at the Lincoln Memorial. He produced a series of multi piano concerts for The US Army Band featuring ten pianists and five concert grand pianos and performed with the Band and Chorus throughout the United States. His recordings include Rhapsody in Blue with The US Army Band, music from The Holocaust Museum on Albany and Transcontinental, accompanying soprano Janice Chandler on The Choral Arts Society Christmas CD, and accompanying The United States Army Chorus in concert.
As a pianist he has been awarded numerous prizes, including the Brahms award from Wolf Trap, and his appearances in recital and with orchestras in North America, Europe, and the Middle East have elicited acclaim from audiences and critics alike. In the Washington area he has performed at The National Gallery of Art, the Phillips Collection, the Organization of American States, and the Holocaust Museum, among others. Unusual highlights of his musical career include coordinating and conducting the Filene Center Orchestra for a gala performance featuring premier comedian Victor Borge at Wolf Trap, compiling and directing the music for Prodigy, a children's play about Mozart at the Kennedy Center, performing with soprano Jessye Norman at the base of the Hoover Dam, and assisting in the development of the National Music Conservatory in Amman, Jordan. He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Shenandoah Conservatory and the Catholic University of America.