Born in 1989, Ben Gernon first attracted international attention in 2013 when he won the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductor’s Award after a unanimous vote by the jury led by Ingo Metzmacher. Gernon is praised repeatedly for his effortless authority on the podium, his drive and command of the orchestra and his incisive, heart-felt and evocative interpretations and has quickly earned himself a reputation as one of the finest and most exciting young conductors working today both in the concert hall and more recently in the opera house. Working now with some of the world’s major orchestras, Gernon takes up his position of Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in the 2017/18 season, one of the youngest conductors to have held a titled position with a BBC orchestra.
This season Gernon looks forward to many significant orchestral debuts across the globe including Oslo Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Czech Philharmonic, Munich Chamber, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony orchestras, Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart and Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, as well as returns to the BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish, Milwaukee Symphony amongst others. As Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, Gernon will conduct the orchestra in several concerts across the season in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and elsewhere, with soloists such as Richard Goode and the Berlin Philharmonic’s Solo Horn Stefan Dohr, as well as in the studio and family and education concerts.
Gernon is a regular guest conductor with most of the UK’s orchestras, including the Philharmonia, City of Birmingham Symphony and BBC Symphony orchestras and has conducted twice at the BBC Proms, including on the occasion of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s 80th Birthday. Highlights of his 2016/17 season in Europe included debuts with the Vienna Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony orchestras. In the US Gernon made his debut with the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia and returned to the LA Philharmonic to make his debut at the Hollywood Bowl following his season as Dudamel Fellow in 2013/14, and in the summer of 2017 he made his debut with the Houston Symphony Orchestra.
A keen opera conductor, Gernon made his debut in 2016/17 with Glyndebourne Touring Opera conducting Don Giovanni and returns in 2017/18 for a production of Barber of Seville. In Spring 2017 he made his debut at Stuttgart Opera conducting The Marriage of Figaro and in August 2017 he makes his debut at Royal Swedish Opera with The Magic Flute. Previous productions have included a specially-crafted arrangement of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the Young Singers Academy at the Salzburg Festival and looking further ahead he will make his debut at London’s Coliseum with English National Opera in 2018/19.
Ben Gernon studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Sian Edwards, with whom he still works closely, and with Sir Colin Davis, who was a profoundly influential figure in Gernon’s musical development.
Artsdesk, February 2017
Gernon knows how to give his musicians the freedom to do what they do best.
Birmingham Post, July 2016
The unexpected highlight of the evening came with Barber’s Adagio, Gernon subtly emphasising the bass line and letting the famous melody unfurl like a Bach aria… I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: watch him like a hawk.
Scotsman, September 2015
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and young English conductor Ben Gernon make a brilliant pairing, the ensemble's crisp transparency an ideal match for Gernon's eager, incisive direction.