Meet Joseph Caulkins

900x600_jc_conductingFor the past 11 seasons as Artistic Director, Joseph Caulkins has consistently delivered innovative concert experiences through adventurous programming, unique collaborations and performances of new and rarely heard works.

He has taken audiences to unexpected places including: the world premiere of The Lake Isle by Ola Gjeilo; a dramatic performance of Richard Einhorn’s dynamic oratorio, Voices of Light, written to accompany Carl Dreyer’s 1928 silent film classic “The Passion of Joan of Arc,” a collaboration with the Sarasota Opera and the Sarasota Film Society; an innovative program titled Mozart Meets Radiohead with edgy string quintet Sybarite5; the US premiere of James Whitbourn’s Annelies, a setting of the Diary of Anne Frank, which the Herald-Tribune called a “Triumph;” and the highly acclaimed Cirque des Voix™, an innovative concert experience with The Circus Arts Conservatory, Sarasota.

MatterhornCelebration_webFrom 2001-2010, Joseph was the Associate Conductor/Director of Choruses for the Southwest Florida Symphony where he created the Stained Glass Series, led annual Messiah and Holiday Pops concerts and conducted on the Pops, Family, Chamber and Masterworks series. Prior to his arrival in Southwest Florida, he was Artistic Director/Conductor of the Bach Chamber Choir (Rockford, IL) and directed the St. Procopius Chamber Orchestra and Choirs at Benedictine University (Lisle, IL). With his choruses, Mr. Caulkins has produced/released numerous CDs, led European concert tours, conducted world and regional premieres and commissioned new works from Dale Warland, Eric Whitacre and Ola Gjeilo among others.

Versatile, with a clear beat, and known for his innovative programming, Maestro Caulkins is at home with music from classics to pops and baroque to ballet. His work — alongside pops legend Erich Kunzel, conducting icon Dale Warland and master technician Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival — have shaped him into a sensitive and dynamic conductor.

event-imageAn experienced alpinist, Mountain Joe has climbed more than 100 peaks throughout the US, Canada, France, Switzerland and Italy including Mount Rainier, Grand Teton, Mont Blanc and the iconic Matterhorn. After 25 years of writing program notes, Joseph has turned some of his attention to writing short stories about life, the mountains and growing up as a young boy in rural Iowa.

Joseph resides in Southwest Florida with his wife Michelle. The intrepid pair has taken up extended travel holidays near mountain ranges in Western Europe to keep their minds fresh, her garden gloves dirty and his ice axe sharp.

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