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Active as a conductor of choral, orchestral, and operatic repertoire, Michael Slon is Director of Choral Music and Associate Professor at the University of Virginia, where he conducts the University Singers, UVA Chamber Singers and also guest conducts the Charlottesville Symphony. His ensembles have recently sung for composer Philip Glass, and the creators of Les Misérables – Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg – during their UVA residencies, and taken a two-week European concert tour. Since 2011, he has also served as Music Director of the Oratorio Society of Virginia. In that time, he has created a series of new artistic partnerships with the chorus, including an acclaimed 2014 semi-staged production of Bernstein’s Candide with Ash Lawn (now Charlottesville) Opera, a 2015 collaboration with the Charlottesville Ballet on Honegger’s King David, performances with regional orchestras and youth choruses, and a Community Sing-In to benefit local charities. Repertoire with the choruses has also included Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Handel’s Messiah, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Verdi’s Requiem and La Traviata, Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Bach’s St. John Passion and Mass in B minor, Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, and a range of shorter a cappella and accompanied works.
After substituting on one hour’s notice for a performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1, Slon served in the 2005-2006 season as Interim Director of the Charlottesville Symphony, leading performances of Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2, Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, and Copland’s Appalachian Spring. In 2005, he also created the University Singers-Symphony Family Holiday Concerts, now a beloved Charlottesville tradition. His opera and musical theatre engagements have included a production of Stephen Paulus’s The Three Hermits with Buffalo’s Opera Sacra, regional premieres of Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George and Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza with the Heritage Theatre Festival, South Pacific and The Magic Flute with Ash Lawn Opera, and Into the Woods and Bernstein’s Mass at Indiana University. He is also active as a guest conductor for honors choirs and orchestras, and as a musician deeply committed to the education of young musicians, was recognized in 2006-2007 as a member of UVA's Mead Honored Faculty, recognizing outstanding faculty mentors.
Prior to UVA, he served as visiting conducting faculty at the Oberlin Conservatory, and as assistant conductor of the Cornell University choruses and Cincinnati’s May Festival Chorus, where he prepared and co-prepared choruses for concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. His ensembles have worked with artists including Moses Hogan, Bobby McFerrin, Meredith Monk, Peter Phillips, and Franz Welser-Möst, and taken on commissioning projects with composers including Stephen Paulus, Forrest Pierce, Eric Whitacre, and Judith Shatin. Also a pianist, composer/arranger, and writer, Dr. Slon holds degrees from the Indiana University School of Music and Cornell University, where he was named a member of Phi Beta Kappa. His first book, Songs from the Hill, has been cited in a variety of other publications, and his work on Leonard Bernstein recently received the national Julius Herford Prize from the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). As a composer, he recently had work presented by the Vocalis Chamber Choir in concert at NYC’s Merkin Hall, and will have work performed at the 2018 ACDA Eastern Convention.