A native of the New York area, Joshua Gersen debuted as a conductor at age 11. He recently concluded his tenure as assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, where he made his acclaimed subscription debut at a few hours’ notice, substituting for Semyon Bychkov. The next season he conducted his own subscription concert, which included the orchestra’s only performance of Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story during the Bernstein centennial year.
As an educator, Mr. Gersen has worked with students and ensembles at the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Boston University, and Curtis Institute of Music. He was the interim director of orchestras at Boston University for the 2019–20 academic year. During his time with the New York Philharmonic, he conducted many of the Young People’s Concerts and worked with the Very Young Composers Program and the Harmony Program, which provides music education for students in underserved communities across New York City. As music director of the New York Youth Symphony, he led the orchestra on its first international tour in more than 50 seasons.
Mr. Gersen studied composition with Michael Gandolfi at New England Conservatory and conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller at the Curtis Institute. He has collaborated with many prominent contemporary composers, including John Adams, Steve Reich, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jennifer Higdon, and Mason Bates, and also remains passionate about the core classical repertoire. He made his conducting debut with the San Francisco Symphony in October 2013.