Robert W. Butts, Conductor and Music Director, the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey

Conductor and Music Director Robert Butts is the founder of The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey. He has led the Orchestra's development from a Baroque ensemble to an orchestra that plays a wide variety of the classical and operatic musical repertoire from all periods.

Since 2006 he has also been the Artistic Director of the BONJ Summer Music Festival held in Madison, New Jersey every August.  


  • France debut at the American Church in Paris on June 19, 2022
  • Has taught conducting at Montclair State University and The College of Saint Elizabeth
  • Is only conductor to have conducted three Wagner operas (Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried) and three Handel operas (Acis and Galatea, Semele, Giulio Cesare) in New Jersey
  • Has conducted concerts featuring The New Jersey Symphony, The Masterwork Chorus, The Plainfield Symphony, and Harmonium
  • Has served as Principal Conductor for The Garden State Sinfonia, The Little Opera Company, New Jersey Concert Opera, Eastern Opera Company of New Jersey, and Opera Theatre of Montclair
  • Has conducted in Romania, Czech Republic, Russia,Germany. and Italy
  • Studied conducting at Juilliard with Maestro Vincent La Selva; received DMA in conducting from The American Conservatory of Music in Chicago; attended master classes in Toronto, Canada, and Berlin, Germany.


  • First American Composer (USA) to compose an Italian Opera – to an Italian libretto by an Italian writer (Vincenzo Faggiano) premiered in an Italian theater (Teatro Verdi di Padova) – September 16, 2021
  • Canti di Venezia premiered by classical guitarist Stanley Alexandrowicz at the 2020 BONJ Virtual Summer Music Festival
  • Three Movements for Bass premiered by Roosevelt Porter at the 2020 BONJ Virtual Summer Music Festival
  • Two Wheatley Songs premiered at Morristown National Historical Park - October 2019
  • Impresiones Inspiradas premiered by classical guitarist Stanley Alexandrowicz - December 2019
  • Viola Concerto premiered with international soloist Brett Deubner - January 2019 and featured on WQXR Performance Today
  • La Serva di Padova premiered in Padua, Italy - January 2019
  • Movements for Piano was premiered by Lynn Czae in Paris, France in 2016
  • Early Morning Suite for classical guitar was premiered by Stanley Alexandrowicz in London, England in 2015
  • Saturnalia Strings was premiered in Crema, Italy—2015
  • Mark Twain and the General and The Cask of Amontillado were performed at The National Opera Center in New York City—2015
  • Composed The Triangle as part of Atlanta Opera’s 24 Hour Opera Project
  • Symphony #1—The Joshua Symphony was commissioned by the Plaut family, premiered in 2014
  • Was twice a finalist in the Traynor Composition Competition


  • Has taught at The Casperson School of Graduate Studies at Drew University, Montclair State University, the College of Saint Elizabeth, and Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • Has lectured for The New Jersey Council for the Humanities, the New Jersey Symphony, The New Jersey State Opera, Elderhostel, and New Jersey Continuing Education Programs
  • Has presented papers at conferences of The American Musicological Society, The Sonneck Society, and The Country Music Conference
  • Reviews and articles have appeared in Opera News, Sonneck Society Journal, Classical New Jersey Journal, Recorder Pulishing Papers, Journal of American Folklore, and Continuo
  • Created and hosted the music education cable broadcast program Concerts and Conversations
  • Created music discussion internet talk show Bach, Bagels, and Bob in 2020

Awards and Honors

  • 2020 - Featured cover story in Madison Living Magazine
  • 2019 - Artists of the Year - New York Classical Music Society
  • 2019 - Exemplary Leader Award by The Morris County Chamber of Commerce
  • 2016 - Morris Tourism Appreciation Award
  • Comcast Newsmaker—2015—Comcast
  • 2015 Honored Artist—2015—The American Prize
  • Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award—2011—The American Prize
  • Arts Professional of the Year—2003—Arts Council of the Morris Area (Morris Arts)

For more information about Maestro Butts, you are invited to visit his website.

Robert W. Butts, Conductor and Music Director, the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey

Maestro Robert W. Butts discusses his career as a conductor with The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey. Excerpts of selections from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern eras are included. Also included are excerpts from works he and the orchestra have premiered, including The Joshua Symphony commissioned by the Plaut Family.

Maestro Robert W. Butts - Opera Conductor

Maestro Robert W. Butts discusses his career in the opera world, working with BONJ, but also with several opera companies in New York, New Jersey, and Europe. Escerpts are included from operas he's conducted by Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Puccini, Handel, and others.


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The Baroque Orchestra Of New Jersey
PO Box 1255
Madison, NJ 07940
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