In the last ten years, Erick Lichte has carved out a distinct niche in the vocal music world and concert life in North America. The Washington Post has hailed the “audacity” of his programming, the Chicago Tribune has noted the “meticulous preparation” of his choirs and Fanfare Magazine declared that he created and helmed “the premier men’s vocal ensemble in the United States.”
As a founding member, singer and Artistic Director of the male vocal ensemble Cantus, Lichte created and sustained one of only two full-time vocal ensembles in the United States. From 2000-2009, Lichte’s programming and artistic direction were heard in over 60 concerts a year in such venues as Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Merkin Hall, San Francisco Performances, Oregon Bach Festival, UCLA and Elora Festival. He has collaborated with artists such as Bobby McFerrin, the Boston Pops, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Doc Severinsen, Minnesota Orchestra, James Sewell Ballet and poet Robert Bly.
His work with Cantus garnered the 2009 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, the highest honor for the professional choral organization Chorus America. He has also been awarded major grants from Chamber Music America and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Lichte is also a champion of new music and has been a part of the creation of over 50 new works. Composers Lichte has worked with include Lee Hoiby, Gavin Bryars, Steven Sametz, Edie Hill, Mary Ellen Childs and Peteris Vasks. Lichte himself is an active arranger and composer whose music has been heard across the United States. He is especially known as a co-creator and musical arranger of the theatrical work All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, which has been broadcast nationally and has been presented in three national tours.
As a choral conductor, Lichte has served as guest chorus master for the professional chorus of Chicago’s Music of the Baroque as well as the Great River Chorale, and One Voice Mixed Chorus. Lichte has also served on the faculty of Augsburg College and the University of Saint Catherine. He currently conducts the Portland State University Man Choir and University Choir, the Chancel Choir at Portland’s First United Methodist Church and is Associate Conductor of the Oregon Repertory Singers.
Lichte is a graduate of St. Olaf College where he studied with the renowned choral conductor Dr. Anton Armstrong and is currently studying with Dr. Ethan Sperry at Portland State University.
Lichte is an ardent audiophile and is a Contributing Editor for Stereophile Magazine where he writes equipment reviews of high performance audio equipment.