Music Director and Conductor



Nikolas Caoile is a sought-after conductor, pianist and presenter. Concurrently serving as Director of Orchestras at Central Washington University, Music Director of the Wenatchee Valley Symphony Orchestra, and Principal Conductor of the Salem Chamber Orchestra, Caoile’s musical leadership spans academic, community and professional arenas. Caoile has also guest conducted many other orchestras including: Northwest Mahler Festival, Rainier Symphony, Yakima Symphony, Gig Harbor Symphony, and the Olympia Symphony. He made his New York City debut in 2009 conducting the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas in collaboration with the Christopher Wheeldon's Morphoses Dance Company at New York City Center. Next season, Caoile will guest conduct the Lake Avenue Community Orchestra in Pasadena. A passionate believer in music education for all ages, Caoile has led numerous educational and community engagement concerts including the Alaska and Indiana All-State Orchestras, the Washington All-State Jr. Orchestra aswell as many regional honor orchestras in Washington, Montana, Oregon and Indiana. Since 2009, Caoile has been a featured presenter as part of the Seattle Symphony Talk Music series. Caoile has collaborated with several popular rock groups including Queensrÿche, John Popper, Heart, and Yes as the Music Director for Synergia Northwest. Caoile was also selected to participate at the Cabrillo Festival for Contemporary Music where he worked with Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier. Caoile is a popular guest conductor and clinician with youth orchestras, collegiate ensembles, and high school honor orchestras throughout the Northwest. Caoile has participated in the 2002 Vakhtang Jordania Conducting Competition and the 9th Cadaques Conducting Competition.

Caoile is a frequent collaborative recitalist performing throughout the Northwest. He has performed with Third Angle New Music Ensemble, the Yakima Seasons Festival, Icicle Creek Center for the Arts, Woods House Conservatory of Music, and is currently a faculty member of the Kairos Chamber Music Lyceum, Chamber Music Madness, and the Icicle Creek Summer Symphony. Caoile frequently collaborates with violinist Denise Dillenbeck (works by John Adams and Bartok), flutist Sarah Tiedemann (works by Poulenc, Schumann, and Debussy), mezzo-soprano Melissa Schiel (works by Bizet, Ravel, Chaminade, Viardot, de Falla), and cellist John Michel (works by Beethoven, Barber and Arvo Pärt).

Caoile is a passionate advocate for opera repertoire. He has served on the music staff of the Aspen Opera Theater Center as a Coach Accompanist Fellow preparing many productions including: Rigoletto, The Cunning Little Vixen, Die Entführung auf dem Serail, The Turn of the Screw, and Giasone. He served as accompanist with the Seattle Opera assisting in productions of Eugene Onegin and Norma and has worked with the Seattle Opera Young Artists on productions of Gianni Schicchi and Eugene Onegin. He was a coach pianist and chorus master for the Bel Canto Vocal Institute where he prepared L’elisir d’amore and Fidelio. He was harpsichordist in performances of L’incoronazione di Poppea, Giasone, and Calisto. Caoile has also served as conductor of many main-stage productions.  He has led performances of Così fan Tutte, Il Matrimonio Segretto, Gianni Schicchi, The Bartered BrideDie Fledermaus, The Tender Land, and Dido and Aeneas. Next seasons, he will lead he Wenatchee Valley Symphony Orchestra in a semi-staged production of Le Nozze di Figaro. Further, he premiered Nancy van de Vate's Opera, Where the Cross is Made, for the 2006 National Opera Association Conference in Ann Arbor. He assisted Martin Katz in the University of Michigan production of Hänsel and Gretel. His teachers include Martin Katz, Phil Kelsey, David McDade, and Kenneth Merrill.

Nikolas Caoile is a native of Portland, Oregon and now resides in Ellensburg, Washington with his wife, mezzo-soprano, Melissa Schiel and their son, Kieran. Caoile holds degrees from the University of Michigan, University of Washington, and Willamette University. He recently accepted a nomination to join Phi Beta Kappa as a member of the Willamette chapter, Delta of Oregon. His principal teachers are Kenneth Kiesler, Gustav Meier, and Peter Erös. Caoile also enjoys playing golf, NYT Crosswords and cooking.