Joshua Gersen has served as Music Director of the New York Youth Symphony since 2012. He 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 has also attended numerous conducting workshops and summer festivals, including 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. In 2013 he served as the principal conductor of the Ojai Music Festival in Ojai, California.
Mr. Gersen recently completed his tenure as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Conducting Fellow of the New World Symphony, where he served as the assistant conductor to Michael Tilson Thomas, and led the orchestra in various subscription, education, and family concerts. As a guest conductor, he has led the Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Jacksonville symphonies, in addition to serving as a cover conductor for many orchestras including the Los Angeles and New York philharmonics. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in October 2013 leading several nights of music from Alfred Hitchcock films.
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 his works performed by the New Mexico Symphony, Greater Bridgeport Symphony, and the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra, among others. 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 contemporary composers including John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Steven Mackey, Mason Bates, and his teacher Michael Gandolfi.