Joshua Gersen, New York Philharmonic Assistant Conductor since September 2015, made his acclaimed Philharmonic subscription debut on hours’ notice in February 2017. Mr. Gersen has been music director of the New York Youth Symphony for the past five years, and he was previously the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Conducting Fellow of the New World Symphony, where he served as the assistant conductor to the symphony’s artistic director, Michael Tilson Thomas, leading the orchestra in various subscription, education, and family concerts including the orchestra’s PULSE concert series. He made his conducting debut with the San Francisco Symphony in the fall of 2013 and has been invited back to conduct a variety of concerts, including a performance in the new SoundBox Theater and filling in for Michael Tilson Thomas on part of a subscription series. The winner of the Aspen Music Festival’s 2011 Aspen Conducting Prize and the 2010 Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize, Mr. Gersen served as the festival’s assistant conductor for the 2012 summer season under Robert Spano. He was principal conductor of the Ojai Music Festival in 2013, and has conducted the National, Toronto, New Jersey, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, and Alabama symphony orchestras and members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He was also a recipient of a Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award in 2015 and 2016.
Mr. Gersen is also an avid composer; his String Quartet No. 1 and Fantasy for Chamber Orchestra have been premiered in New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall. He has had works performed by the New Mexico Symphony, Greater Bridgeport Symphony, and Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra. His work as a composer has inspired an interest in conducting contemporary music, and he has led several World Premieres by young composers with New York Youth Symphony’s First Music Program and the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers program. He has also collaborated with prominent composers including John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Steven Mackey, Mason Bates, and Michael Gandolfi.
Joshua Gersen made his conducting debut at age 11 with the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra and his professional conducting debut five years later when he led the Greater Bridgeport Symphony in a performance of his own composition, A Symphonic Movement. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied conducting with Otto Werner Mueller, and the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied composition with Michael Gandolfi.