John Robert Liepold lives and works in New York City, where he serves as Chair of the Music Department and Director of Choral Music at Trevor Day School and as the founding conductor of New York City’s dynamic professional men’s chorus, The Singing Apes. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and has done graduate work at Columbia University, the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, the University of Oregon, and Westminster Choir College. Liepold has performed and studied conducting with John Alexander, Marin Alsop, Peter Bagley, Neely Bruce, James Conlon, Allen Crowell, Charles Dutoit, Eph Ehly, Elmer Eisler, Joseph Flummerfelt, Vance George, Dennis Keene, Neville Marriner, André Previn, Helmuth Rilling, and Robert Shaw.
Maestro Liepold has led vibrant choral programs in New York, Connecticut, and Virginia. He received critical acclaim for his work with the Connecticut Choral Society and Orchestra and the University of Virginia Men’s Glee Club, with whom he made several recordings and commissioned and premiered a dozen major new additions to the repertoire. Liepold has two decades of experience as a church musician, having served as Music Director for Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and Unitarian Universalist communities. He has also led choral programs at the the Allen-Stevenson, Dalton, Hewitt, and Trinity Schools, the New School’s Mannes College of Music, and Grace Choral Society in New York City; and at Hampden-Sydney College and Woodberry Forest School in Virginia.
Choruses under Liepold’s direction have given command performances at regional and national conventions of the American Choral Directors’ Association and the Intercollegiate Men’s Chorus Association, on national and international tours , at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and for the President of the United States. His choruses have been broadcast on NBC’s Today Show, National Public Radio’s Performance Today, Connecticut and Virginia Public Radio, and the Voice of America.
International projects have included concerts in honor of the XXIX Olympic Games in Beijing and Shanghai, at the Haydn Bicentennial Festival (Vienna), at Christ Church Cathedral (Oxford) and Southwark Cathedral (London), and at the Cathedrals of Notre Dame in Chartres and Paris. Liepold returned to France to conduct concerts in Rouen and Paris commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Normandy landings. Maestro Liepold recently made his conducting debut in Italy, with concerts in Lake Como (Opera House) and Venice (Basilica San Marco).
Carnegie Hall has recognized Liepold as one of the “rising generation of choral leaders,” inviting him to take part in their annual Professional Conductors’ Workshops with Robert Shaw and others. As a several-time Chorus America Conducting Fellow, he has conducted Voices of Ascension and the Gregg Smith Singers, and studied with some of the world’s most respected Master Conductors. Mr. Liepold remains active as a singer, having sung regularly with the Robert Shaw Festival Chorus and as a founding member of the Dennis Keene Festival Chorus. Liepold recently had the privilege to serve as Music Director for the venerable Blue Hill Troupe's production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Yeomen of the Guard. The performances were the world premiere of G&S scholar Colin Jagger's critically-acclaimed new chamber orchestration of Yeomen, published by Oxford University Press.