Joseph D'Eugenio, Artistic Director
Recognized as one of Southern New England’s most engaging musicians, Joseph D’Eugenio has been bringing music to life across the region for nearly three decades. As a conductor, artistic director, music director, educator, pianist, organist, and vocal and conducting coach, D’Eugenio combines imaginative programming, skilled conducting, and deeply-informed musical versatility when producing captivating performances of choral, chamber, keyboard, and orchestral music.
D’Eugenio’s passion for preparing and presenting the great choral masterworks (including the requiems of Mozart, Brahms, Duruflé, and Fauré; masses of Haydn, Mozart, and Bruckner; and oratorios of Carissimi, Handel, Haydn, and Mendelssohn) has led him to conduct productions of major choral-orchestral works each season, most often with the GMChorale, where he has served as Artistic Director since 1998.
Under D’Eugenio’s leadership, GMChorale, an auditioned symphonic chorus of 80 voices that performs a wide range of choral music from several centuries, has become known as one of New England’s finest choruses, awarded and celebrated for its creative choral presentations and dynamic collaborations, including those with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra (with maestro D’Eugenio conducting). The GMChorale and Alchemy (the vocal chamber ensemble of GMChorale) have performed on noted concert series, and conventions of the Connecticut chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. D’Eugenio conducted GMChorale’s international concert tours in Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, Rome, Florence and Venice, where the GMChorale performed at historic St. Mark’s Basilica.
D’Eugenio takes a special interest in creating meaningful collaborations with other ensembles and performers to produce events that engage an entire community. In 2010, GMChorale, Elm City Girls’ Choir, and the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra Chorus presented a semi-staged theatrical performance of Mendelssohn’s grand oratorio Elijah. Community events leading up to the performance included a series of lectures and conversations that explored how the prophet Elijah could be understood within Islamic, Christian, and Jewish traditions.
More recently, D’Eugenio produced a project on a scale rarely undertaken by a community chorus: GMChorale’s commissioning of an oratorio, Letter from Italy,1944, composed by Grammy-nominated composer, Sarah Meneely-Kyder, and poet, Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely, for which he also wrote the book, conducted the semi-staged multimedia 2013 premiere in Middletown, and oversaw the production of two related videos. D’Eugenio collaborated with filmmaker, Karyl Evans, to produce the documentary video Letter from Italy, 1944: A New American Oratorio, narrated by Meryl Streep, which earned Ms. Evans an Emmy-award for Outstanding Director in 2016, and was broadcast on CPTV. In 2017, D’Eugenio conducted the oratorio’s second performance and Hartford premiere at the Bushnell Theater with the full vocal forces of GMChorale, Hartford Chorale, vocal soloists and cast, and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
D’Eugenio has championed and conducted premieres of GMChorale-commissioned works by recognized composers such as Gwyneth Walker, Eugenie Rocherolle, Colin Britt, Ellen Gilson Voth, Lee McQuillan, and Henry Mollicone. Most recently in 2019, D’Eugenio conducted the premiere of New Every Morning, a choral cantata for chorus, soloist, and piano, composed by Peter Niedmann.
In 2009, D’Eugenio was named Conductor of the Year by the Connecticut Chapter of ACDA. In demand as a guest conductor and clinician, D’Eugenio has led various workshops and festivals, and has conducted choral groups in high schools, colleges, and universities across Connecticut, including as visiting instructor at Wesleyan University in Middletown.
A collaborative pianist of the first rank, D’Eugenio frequently accompanies professional choral ensembles, All-State festivals, and song recitals with accomplished concert artists. He may be heard on In Delightful Company, a CD of choral music composed by Pulitzer prize finalist, Charles Fussell.
D’Eugenio has served as Director of Music and organist at First Congregational Church in Cheshire, Connecticut since 2003, where he directs the church’s vibrant music program and chancel choir. D’Eugenio earned the Bachelor of Music (cum laude) in piano performance from The Hartt School, University of Hartford, and the Master of Music in choral conducting from the University of Connecticut.