William Hill, ECO Music Director
William (Bill) Hill has been the Music Director of ECO since 2014. Under his inspirational leadership, ECO has flourished with more high-quality performances than ever. ECO has performed several of Mr. Hill’s compositions in past seasons.
William Hill is acclaimed as a composer, soloist, artist, and conductor. Currently he is Principal Timpanist with the Colorado Symphony, Music Director of the Evergreen Chamber Orchestra, and teaches composition at the University of Denver. Hill has served as a composer with the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, National Music Festival, Grand Rapids Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Moravian Philharmonic (Czech Republic) and the Nova Series of Salt Lake City. He has performed as Timpanist with the Honolulu and Omaha Symphonies, the Grand Teton Music Festival, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Hill has won numerous awards as a composer and performer from ASCAP, Indiana University, The Percussive Arts Society, and The Music Academy of the West. His Symphony #3 (2012) and tone poem The Raven (2015) for orchestra and chorus, premiered with the Colorado Symphony and both were nominated for the Pulitzer and Grawemeyer Awards. New compositions include El Perro Azul for Violin and Orchestra, Metamorphosis for Marimba and Orchestra, and Soundscape for Electronics and Orchestra composed by Colin and William Hill.
As a conductor, Hill has led the Colorado Symphony, Evergreen Chamber Orchestra, groups at the Grand Teton Music Festival, and other Colorado orchestras. His Jazz and World Music groups are long time audience favorites and he has been the subject of feature articles in local and national publications. Recordings of Hill’s music have won high praise internationally.
The Colorado Symphony is premiering a new piece that Hill just finished composing at their season opener concerts September 14-16, 2018. In fact Bill’s new work is the opening piece of the CSO’s season! These concerts also include Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 with Jeremy Denk, and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2. You can purchase tickets to these CSO concerts here: https://tickets.coloradosymphony.org/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=4717.
William Hill is married to violinist Natalie Schmitz Hill and their two grown children are both excellent professional musicians. They maintain busy performance schedules as a family and individually. The Hills love living in Colorado for its incredible natural beauty and its great arts scene.
Katherine Thayer, ECO Concertmaster
Katherine Thayer is in her 17th season as concertmaster of Evergreen Chamber Orchestra. In addition, she is concertmaster of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra (13 years) and performs with Inside the Orchestra, bringing music to school children (31 years). Katherine also enjoys her performances with her group Voice of the Wood Chamber Players who are heard frequently at ECO recitals and DPO’s Dazzle Jazz Club performances.
Katherine was principal 2nd violin and soloist with the former Denver Chamber Orchestra, JoAnne Falletta, conductor. She enjoyed performing for five summers at both the Colorado Music Festival and Grand Teton Music Festivals.
Prior to moving to Colorado in 1984, Katherine was an Assistant Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at Eastern New Mexico University where she performed as violinist in the Raphael Piano Trio. Her violin studies include a Masters Degree from Michigan State University when the Juilliard Quartet was in residence, and European studies with Zino Francescatti, Christian Ferras and Alberto Lysy.
She held positions in the first violin sections of the Kamarata Lysy, the Wurttembergishes Kammer Orchertre and the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg touring frequently throughout Europe and the Philippines. She will be returning to Europe this October as part of an exchange program with the Bayerische Philharmone in Munich. She looks forward to seeing Salzburg again after so many years.
Katherine delights in watching her daughter Ayla’s professional dance performances and playing chamber music with close friends.