“Dr. Heltzel teaches with a unique combination of thoughtful sensitivity and maturity. He draws from an incredibly extensive breadth and depth of musical experience gained from his piano performance and conducting careers, and is skillful at imparting key concepts to address the physicality, emotionality and soulfulness of the music.”

– Catherine Cheung, pianist

“As a former piano student, Chad had a revolutionary effect on my approach to classical piano. Before enrolling for lessons at the McGill Conservatory, I had an unsuccessful audition at UOttawa; then after four months of lessons with Chad, I had a successful audition to the the Schulich School of Music. I believe this was due to a few important qualities of his teaching method: he was attentive to my goals, he offered sufficient challenge, and he worked behind the scenes to provide me performance practice.”

– David Garfinkle, pianist

“Dr. Heltzel brings so much energy to each lesson and his technical and musical instruction is always clearly and imaginatively communicated. I am so full of ideas and inspiration after leaving a lesson that I can not wait to return to my practice and apply what I have learned.”

– Grace Hu, pianist

“I had the pleasure of working with Chad Heltzel on the premiere of my orchestral work Non-Destructive Classical Music in 2019.  He was an excellent advocate for the work, thoroughly prepared and brimming with ideas.  All too often, conductors do not bring their own thoughts about a new work to a premiere, but Chad was deeply engaged and made many good suggestions.  His technical control was superb, and his rehearsal technique was impeccable.  The orchestra responded well to him.  I found I had no need to interfere with his rehearsal process, as every concern I had he had already identified and was prepared to correct.  All in all, this was one of the most positive experiences I have had with a conductor at a premiere.”

– Gary Kulesha, composer

“Chad Emry Heltzel is a first rate professional, a precise and inspiring musician.  A gifted conductor with total focus and impressive technique, he is committed to the highest artistic standards and communicates his ideas expertly.”

– Uri Mayer, conductor

“Chad is a quintessential conductor who journeys deep inside the music to approach the work from a fundamental, spiritual basis, with architectural visions from his pianist’s sensibilities. I have rarely known anyone in the field with more elegance, vigor, and charisma, and rarely any more fitting candidates as a teacher of the great art of conducting.”

-Kevin Zi-Xiao He, composer