Artistic Director and Conductor
Described as exciting, dynamic and charismatic, Ryan Heller serves as PVC's Conductor and Artistic Director, which he also co-founded in 2007. In addition to his work with PVC, Mr. Heller is Conductor and Artistic Director of the Southwest Washington Symphony as well as the ensembles of Chorus Austin in Austin, TX. Ryan also serves as Director of the award-winning Pride of Portland Chorus of Sweet Adelines International. From 2001 to 2009, he was Conductor and Artistic Director of the Columbia Chorale of Oregon, a group he co-founded in 2001.
Mr. Heller has led ensembles across the United States with appearances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Chicago’s Symphony Hall. He has toured internationally in Italy, Germany, Estonia, Sweden and, most recently, China, where he led combined choirs from Texas at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing and at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. Among his honors, Mr. Heller and Chorus Austin were finalists for the prestigious American Prize for Outstanding Choral Performance in 2010. In 2008, he was nominated for a Portland Music Award as “Outstanding Classical Musician.” He also received the Dean’s Award from Chapman University and a Young Artists’ Award from the National Recording Academy.
Mr. Heller has served as Musical Director of a wide variety of productions throughout the West Coast, including Brigadoon, Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore, Sweeney Todd, Annie, Company and Into the Woods. As an active performer, he has appeared and/or recorded with groups such as the Portland Opera, William Hall Master Chorale, Rose City Chamber Orchestra, Choral Cross-Ties, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Capella Romana, Lakewood Theater Company and the Broadway Rose Theater Company. This December, he will appear as Guest Conductor of the Austin Symphony Orchestra in their annual performance of Handel's Messiah.
An Oregon native, Mr. Heller received his Master of Music degree in Conducting from Portland State University and his Bachelor’s of Music degree in Conducting from Chapman University, both summa cum laude. Heller is in frequent demand as a conductor, singer and coach; hailed by critics as “exciting, charismatic, and intelligent – a young conductor to keep our eyes on.” He is thrilled to be at the helm of PVC and looks forward to many years of sharing great music with his beloved Portland community.