American conductor and pianist Joel Nason Revzen was born in Chicago on 27 June 1945. As a teenager he sang in the Chicago Symphony Chorus. He studied at the Juilliard School of Music, where he won the Frank Damrosch Conducting Prize. From 1972 he was dean of the St Louis Conservatory until moving to Saint Paul, Minnesota, to be assistant conductor of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, a position he held until 1989. From 1982 until 1991 he also conducted at the Aspen Music Festival.
From 1991 until 2003 he was artistic director of Berkshire Opera in western Massachusetts, where he conducted the first performance of the opera Summer by Stephen Paulus, based on the novella by Edith Wharton.
In 2003 he became artistic director of Arizona Opera, where he conducted three of each season's five operas.
From 2012 he was artistic director and principal conductor at the Classical Tahoe festival in Nevada.
As a guest conductor he appeared with the Kirov Opera in St Petersburg, the Prague Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre de Radio France, National Theatre Mannheim and the Seattle Symphony. Under the direction of Gian Carlo Menotti, he conducted a production of The Consul at Washington National Opera.
Revzen's recordings include Menotti's The Consul, two discs with the London Symphony Orchestra, Haydn's The Creation and The Seasons with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and music by Libby Larsen with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
As a pianist, he appeared with Arleen Augér, Jaime Laredo, Michael Tree and Sharon Robinson.
Joel Revzen died from COVID-19 at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan on 25 May 2020, aged seventy-four.
Ensemble. What It Means To Be Human - Maria Nockin listens to orchestral music on the shores of Lake Tahoe
Ensemble. Beautifully Coordinated - Candace Evans' new production of Puccini's La bohème, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Totally Authentic - 'The Marriage of Figaro' at Arizona Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Charming Performance - Gluck's 'Orfeo ed Euridice' at Arizona Opera, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Date with the Devil - Gounod's 'Faust' at Arizona Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. An Extraordinary Performance - 'Cavalleria Rusticana' and 'Pagliacci' at Arizona Opera, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Rewarding Performances - Arizona Opera's 'The Abduction from the Seraglio', reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Riveting Characterization - Verdi's 'Otello' at Arizona Opera impresses Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Brisk and Powerful - 'Carmen' in Tucson, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Admirable Precision - Maria Nockin reviews Arizona Opera's 'The Pirates of Penzance'
Ensemble. Hilariously Funny - Arizona Opera's 'The Barber of Seville', appreciated by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Truly Memorable - A concert of arias at Arizona Opera impresses Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Bouquet of Bohèmes - Maria Nockin reviews one opera at two different venues
Ensemble. Truly Elegant - Arizona Opera's 'Don Giovanni', appreciated by Maria Nockin
Profile. Rich Musical Experiences - American conductor Joel Revzen talks to Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Wonderful Weekend - 'Tosca' and 'Mikado' in Arizona, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Dramatically Riveting - Maria Nockin at Arizona Opera's 'Lucia di Lammermoor'
Ensemble. Incisive Musicianship - 'The Marriage of Figaro' in Arizona, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Lively Pacing - Verdi's 'Macbeth' in Arizona, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Important Revelations - A gala concert presented by Arizona Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Close to Perfection - Arizona Opera's 'The Flying Dutchman', enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Exhilarating Comedy - 'L'Italiana in Algeri' in Arizona, reviewed by Maria Nockin