Associate Professor, ConductingDirector, Wind Activities Wind & Percussion Division
B.M., M.M. University of Michigan; D.M.A. Eastman School of Music
Michael Votta, Jr. was Music Director of the North Carolina Wind Orchestra prior to joining the faculty of the University of Maryland in the fall of 2008. Critics have praised him as “a conductor with the drive and ability to fully relay artistic thoughts” and for his “interpretations of definition, precision and most importantly, unmitigated joy.” Ensembles under his direction have received critical acclaim in the United States and Europe for their “exceptional spirit, verve and precision,” their “sterling examples of innovative programming” and “the kind of artistry that is often thought to be the exclusive purview of top symphonic ensembles.” Before his appointment at Maryland, Votta held conducting positions at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Duke University, Ithaca College, the University of South Florida, Miami University (Ohio) and Hope College.
His performances have been heard in broadcasts throughout the US, on Austrian National Radio (ÖRF), and Southwest German Television, and have been released internationally on the Primavera label. In addition, his ensembles have been invited to perform at conferences of the Conductors Guild, the College Band Directors National Association and the North Carolina Music Educators Association. Numerous major composers including George Crumb, Christopher Rouse, Karel Husa, Olly Wilson, Barbara Kolb, Warren Benson, and Louis Andriessen have praised his performances of their works.
Votta maintains an active schedule as guest conductor and clinician in the US, and has appeared in Europe and Israel. He has taught conducting seminars in the US and Israel, and has guest conducted and lectured at institutions such as the Eastman School of Music, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the Prague Conservatory and the National Arts Camp at Interlochen. He has also appeared at conferences of numerous organizations including the College Band Directors National Association, the Midwest Band and Orchestra Conference, the Conductors Guild, and state music educator’s conventions in New York, North Carolina, and Ohio.
Votta holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting degree from the Eastman School of Music where he served as Assistant Conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble and studied with Donald Hunsberger. A native of Michigan, Votta received his undergraduate training and Master of Music degrees from the University of Michigan, where he studied with H. Robert Reynolds.
He is the author of numerous articles on wind literature and conducting. His arrangements and editions for winds have been performed and recorded by university and professional wind ensembles in the US, Europe and Japan. He has served as Editor of the College Band Directors National Association Journal, as a member of the Executive Board of the International Society for the Investigation of Wind Music (IGEB), and on the board of the Conductors Guild.
As a clarinetist, Votta has performed as a soloist throughout the US and Europe. His solo and chamber music recordings are available on the Partridge and Albany labels.