Joshua Gersen is currently the Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, as well as the Music Director of the New York Youth Symphony. 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, and led the orchestra in various subscription, education, and family concerts, including the orchestra’s renowned PULSE concert series. He made his conducting debut with the San Francisco Symphony in the fall of 2013 and has been invited back numerous times, including this past January where led a program in the brand new SoundBox Theater and even filled in for Michael Tilson Thomas on part of a subscription series. Mr. Gersen was the winner of the Aspen Music Festival’s prestigious 2011 Aspen Conducting Prize and the 2010 Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize, and served as the festival’s assistant conductor for the 2012 summer season under Robert Spano. He served as the principal conductor of the renowned Ojai Music Festival in 2013, and also has conducted the Indianapolis Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, and members of the Pittsburgh Symphony. He was also a recipient of a 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award.
Beyond his conducting interests, Mr. Gersen is also an avid composer. Both his String Quartet #1 and Fantasy for Chamber Orchestra have been premiered in New England Conservatory’s celebrated Jordan Hall. He has had works performed by the New Mexico Symphony, Greater Bridgeport Symphony, and frequently with the GBYO. His work as a composer has also led to an interest in conducting contemporary music. He has conducted several world premieres of new works with the both the New World Symphony and New York Youth Symphony, and has collaborated with many prominent contemporary composers including John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Steven Mackey, Mason Bates, and Michael Gandolfi.
Mr. 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. Mr. Gersen is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied conducting with the esteemed Otto Werner Mueller and the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied composition with Michael Gandolfi.