Joe Miller is conductor of two of America’s most renowned choral ensembles: the Westminster Choir and the Westminster Symphonic Choir. He is also director of choral activities at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. In addition to his responsibilities at Westminster, Dr. Miller is artistic director for choral activities for the renowned Spoleto Festival USA and director of the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir.
His 2017-2018 season with the Westminster Choir includes a concert tour of the Midwest; performances and broadcasts at its home in Princeton; its annual residency at the Spoleto Festival USA and the release of a new recording. The choir’s 2016-2017 season included performances of Julia Wolfe’s Pulitzer Prize winning Anthracite Fields at the historic Roebling WireWorks as part of Westminster’s Transforming Space project, as well as concerts at the World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona.
His latest recording with the Westminster Choir, The Heart’s Reflection: Music of Daniel Elder, has been hailed by Minnesota Public Radio’s Classical Notes as “simply astounding.” His debut recording with the ensemble, Flower of Beauty, received four stars from Choir & Organ magazine and earned critical praise from American Record Guide, which described the Westminster Choir as “the gold standard for academic choirs in America.”
Performances by the Westminster Choir and Joe Miller at the Spoleto Festival USA have earned critical praise. The New York Times described their 2014 performance of John Adams’ El Niño as “superb” and wrote, “Meticulously prepared … the chorus was remarkable for its precision, unanimity and power.” The Wall Street Journal praised the same performance, crediting “the fine Westminster Choir and the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, under the direction of Joe Miller.” The Post and Courier wrote about their 2015 performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, “This was an evening of near-flawless execution and many moments of ravishing beauty and power. It will go down as a highlight (maybe even THE highlight) of this year’s festival, and, I think, as the work with which Joe Miller established his credentials to lead an extended choral/orchestral masterwork, not just recreating Bach’s music but also putting his own interpretive stamp on the whole.”
As conductor of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Dr. Miller has collaborated with some of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, earning him critical praise. The New York Times wrote about Symphonic Choir’s performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Cleveland Orchestra, “Joe Miller's Westminster Symphonic Choir was subtle when asked and powerful when turned loose.” Recent seasons have included performances with the Philharmoniker Berliner and Sir Simon Rattle; The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin; and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and Gustavo Dudamel.
Dr. Miller is also founder and conductor of the Westminster Summer Choral Festival Chamber Choir, a program that offers professional-level choral and vocal artists the opportunity to explore challenging works for one week each summer on the Westminster campus in Princeton.
Reflecting on the role that choral music plays in the nation's cultural life, he said at a Chorus America conference, “Choral music in the United States has seen unprecedented growth in the past several decades. The influence of our past leaders is part of our fabric, but we must seize this time to create a new vision based on the foundation that has been laid before us. We must keep the traditions but be willing to change in order to build a vision for the future.”
Dr. Miller earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in choral conducting from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and voice from the University of Tennessee.