Betsy Burleigh

Conductor and educator Betsy Burleigh chairs the Choral Department at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, where she conducts the University Singers and the Oratorio Chorus in addition to teaching masters and doctoral conducting classes. There she most recently conducted Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony, Walton's Belshazzar's Feast, Stravinsky's Pulcinella (complete), and Handel’s Messiah. Betsy relishes the choral-orchestral repertoire and has worked with numerous renowned conductors. As guest conductor, Burleigh has led the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and several regional orchestras.

Burleigh served for ten years as Music Director of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, where led the ensemble to national attention. She prepared the group for all Pittsburgh Symphony choral performances, collaborating with PSO Music Director Manfred Honeck on numerous projects including staged performances of Messiah and an acclaimed Mozart Requiem at Carnegie Hall. During her time with the Mendelsssohn, Burleigh conducted performances of Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem, Bach’s B minor Mass, Mozart's 'Great' Mass in C minor, Duruflé's Requiem, and Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil. She was also invited by the Library of Congress to bring the group to sing here in Washington D.C.

Prior to her appointment with the Mendelssohn Choir, Betsy served as the Assistant Director of Choruses for The Cleveland Orchestra, most notably preparing all performances for Blossom, TCO’s summer home, as well as conducting the chorus on an Emmy award-winning performance for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Burleigh also served Cleveland Opera as Chorus Master for productions of Turandot, Carmen, Eugene Onegin, Sweeney Todd, Faust, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Madama Butterfly, Iolanthe, and Tosca.

Burleigh lived for many years in Boston, where she was music director of Chorus pro Musica, the Providence Singers, The Master Singers, the Cambridge Madrigal Singers, and held teaching positions at Tufts University, MIT, the Longy School, and Clark University. During her time with Chorus pro Musica she commissioned works by Abbie Betinis and Andrew Rindflebisch. Her 2010 Chorus pro Musica rendition of Orff’s Carmina burana was praised as being both “nuanced” and “hair-raising”.