Artistic Director

Dr. Joseph Holt

Dr. Joseph Holt enjoys a wide-ranging musical career as conductor, pianist, chamber music performer, arts administrator, educator and arranger. In the 2023/24 season, he will celebrate his 15th season as Artistic Director for the Choral Artists of Sarasota, Sarasota’s professional choral ensemble. He also served as Director of Artist Programs for seven years for the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota, annually engaging young musicians from around the world to perform in Sarasota, Florida. He is the producer and host for SILL’s Music Monday programs, following in the footsteps of his predecessors June LeBell and Edward Alley. He served as Director of Music for Faith Lutheran Church in Sarasota from 2012-2022. The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota recognized his achievements in the arts with the Artistic Achievement Award in 2017.

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.

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.  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.

Dr. Holt made his Choral Arts conducting debut with Ariel Ramírez’s Misa Criolla during the 2002/2003 Season, recording it and Navidad Nuestra by Ramírez and Missa Luba on the NAXOS label and released

rejoice-concert-2018-piano
Dr. Joseph Holt on piano at “Rejoice” concert / 2018

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. 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.