Joel Neves enjoys a dynamic and versatile career as an opera, ballet, and orchestra conductor and educator.

A prizewinner in the American Prize in Conducting, Joel is Director of Orchestral Activities at Michigan Technological University where he conducts the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra.  He also served as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Pine Mountain Music Festival, a professional summer opera festival in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.


Neves is a frequent guest conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Entre Ríos in Argentina, and made his professional conducting debut in China with the Hubei Symphony Orchestra in 2015.  He looks forward to working with the young musicians of the Utah All-State Orchestra in 2020.


Equally adept at theatre, Joel has directed numerous opera, ballet, and music theatre productions.  He conducted Bizet’s Carmen with the Pine Mountain Music Festival this past summer.  He led the Minnesota Ballet and KSO in productions of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker in 2015 and 2018.  And he recently directed West Side Story with the Tech Theatre Company.

A strong champion and advocate for college conductors, Joel recently served as national President of the College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA), the only professional service organization for conductors of university orchestra programs in the United States, Canada, and South America.


Neves was Assistant Conductor of the Orchestra of Southern Utah from 2006-2009, leading masterworks, pops, and children’s concerts. He has also conducted the Orquestra de Cadaqués (Spain), Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, Bard Festival Orchestra, and Pine Mountain Music Festival Orchestra. In 2010 he was invited as guest conductor of the Kentucky Music Educators Association All-Collegiate Orchestra. Conducting teachers include Gustav Meier, Larry Rachleff, Leon Botstein, Daniel Lewis, Don Schleicher, Harold Farberman, Don Thulean, Timothy Russell, William Reber, and Kory Katseanes.

Joel received a Doctor of Musical Arts in orchestral, choral, and opera conducting from Arizona State University and bachelors and masters degrees from Brigham Young University. He currently resides in Houghton, Michigan with his wife (soprano, Lara Neves) and three daughters.