Joshua David Gersen made his conducting debut at age eleven with the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra in Bridgeport, Connecticut, 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. For several years Mr. Gersen studied music theory, composition, and conducting with Robert Genualdi. At the age of fifteen, he was invited to study with Gustav Meier, with whom he would study with for the next six years. Mr. Gersen is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller. He also received a bachelor of music degree in composition from the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he studied with Michael Gandolfi.
Mr. Gersen is currently the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Conducting Fellow of the New World Symphony, where he serves as the assistant conductor to Michael Tilson Thomas, and leads the orchestra in various subscription, education, and family concerts. He is also the Music Director of the New York Youth Symphony, a post he began in September 2012. Mr. Gersen has covered and assisted for many orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony and the Saint Louis Symphony. He has also attended numerous conducting workshops and summer festivals, most recently the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival in the summers of 2010 and 2011. As winner of the 2011 Aspen Conducting Prize, he served as the festival’s assistant conductor for the 2012 summer season. This past June he served as the principal conductor of the Ojai Music Festival in Ojai, California. These current performances mark his San Francisco Symphony debut.
In addition to his work as a conductor, Mr. Gersen is also a composer. Both 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 the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra, among others. He has also conducted several world premieres of new works, and collaborated with composers such as John Adams, Christopher Rouse, and Steven Mackey.