“With a light tread and a wide smile he mounted the rostrum and the orchestra was with him from the first beat.”
Joshua Weilerstein is one of the two Assistant Conductors at the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. He attracted international attention when he won both the First Prize and the Audience Prize of the 2009 Malko Competition for Young Conductors.
Weilerstein has since conducted and has been re-engaged by many of the major Scandinavian orchestras and has developed close relationships with several, including the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. He also made very successful debuts with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Northern Sinfonia and has been re-invited to both.
In the current season, in addition to his debut with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, he will also work for the first time with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie in Saarbrücken, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. Engagements in the following seasons are confirmed with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Oslo Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse.
In the USA, in April 2013, Joshua Weilerstein will return to conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic where, previously, he served as a Dudamel Fellow to the orchestra. He also returns to the Toronto Symphony and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
In the summers of 2009 and 2010, Joshua Weilerstein studied with David Zinman at the Aspen Music Festival, where he was awarded the Robert J. Harth Conductor Prize and the Aspen Conducting Prize. In the summer of 2012, he returned to the Aspen Music Festival to conduct the Festival Orchestra. In 2007 the Símon Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela (SBYO) engaged Joshua Weilerstein as a violin soloist. Shortly after this appearance, the SBYO invited him to join the first violin section for the orchestra’s 2007 American tour with Music Director, Gustavo Dudamel, making Weilerstein the ensemble’s first non-Venezuelan guest member. In January 2010, Joshua Weilerstein made his guest conducting debut with the SBYO.
Joshua Weilerstein is a graduate of the New England Conservatory where he received his dual Master of Music degrees in orchestral conducting with Hugh Wolff and in violin with Lucy Chapman in 2011.
Joshua Weilerstein is represented in Europe by Intermusica.
2012-13 season / 396 words. Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material.
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Golijov, Britten & Dvorak
“The orchestra’s players were undoubtedly the stars of the show, but it was the astonishing young US conductor Joshua Weilerstein, making his debut with the BBC SSO, who galvanised them into their searing performances, leaping energetically on the platform yet balancing dramatic detail with a sure sense of structure. In his hands, melodies bloomed in exquisite shapes, and textures gleamed, rich yet transparent.
Most unexpected was the carefully titled Movements for a Clarinet Concerto, a piece assembled in 2007 by composer Colin Matthews from Britten’s sketches for a clarinet concerto, which the older composer never completed. It’s doubtful that the piece comes close to what Britten would have written, but no matter – Matthews has devised a striking, memorable work, and this Scottish premiere from Finnish clarinettist Olli Leppäniemi was charismatic, colourful and confident.
The more familiar Britten Simple Symphony, which preceded it, can often seem naïve and child-like, but in Weilerstein’s hands it became a profound symphonic statement, gripping and moving – tempos were unforgivingly brisk, and the gauchely titled 'Sentimental Sarabande' can seldom have sounded more Mahlerian.
There was a delicious swagger to his opener: Osvaldo Golijov’s Last Round, a tribute – sometimes brutal, sometimes poignant – to the tangos of his fellow Argentine, Astor Piazzolla. And there was a grand sweep to Weilerstein’s Dvorák Seventh Symphony, which brought the afternoon to a blazing conclusion.”
The Scotsman, April 2013
Orchestra del San Carlo / Shostakovich & Rachmaninov
“Joshua Weilerstein is a revelation on the podium. Only 25 he already has consolidated technique, depth of interpretation, marvellous gestures, absolute authority and the ability to soar through the Waltz rhythms. All reflected in the fact that the orchestra gave him their own ovation. It’s such a revelation…”
Il Corriere Della Sera, February 2013
Danish National Symphony Orchestra / Penderecki, Beethoven & Dvořák
“With a light tread and a wide smile he mounted the rostrum and the orchestra was with him from the first beat.
Whilst [he] strove to keep the orchestra down in Penderecki and Beethoven, he let the orchestral machinery loose in Dvořák Symphony no. 9. The desire to make music shone ... from [Weilerstein].
A great evening in every way. Good, Weilerstein is back.”
Jyllands-posten, May 2012
“The former winner of the Malko Competition was received as a king by an expectant concert hall and he repaid with three highlights in the concert hall's history.
... He came, beat his beats and stole everybody's heart. The first applause had just stopped thundering and he showed why. Penderecki's "Threnos" from 1960, composed in commemoration of the victims of Hiroshima, sounds like a scream. Not a vulgar or shocking scream, as one often hears it. It was dignified and therefore all the more painful.
Weilerstein then conducted a surprisingly unsentimental Dvořák Symphony no. 9. The familiar melodies stood surprisingly clear, almost supernaturally clear in his hands. It was an evening with highlight upon highlight."
Berlingske, May 2012
Danish National Symphony Orchestra / Malko Competition Prize Winner’s Concert
“In time he will be priceless. Wait and see...”
Berlingske Tidende, October 2009
“Joshua is absolutely the right winner. He proved this when he conducted the Danish National Symphony Orchestra… and it is clear that young Joshua has his own style... Take the opening work, a contemporary piece ... after only a few moments, everybody was persuaded by the choice of repertoire. Joshua totally convinced the audience.”
Berlingske Tidende, October 2009
“He knew from the very beginning the direction in which he wanted the orchestra to go and he never looked back. He accentuated the great musical climaxes with his fist, while the many complex details were smoothly shaped with his hands and swaying body …
Three years of conducting lessons have brought him to where he is today. It is impossible to predict where his great talent will take him in the future”
iByen.dk, October 2009
These are featured projects related to Joshua Weilerstein:
Joshua Weilerstein in performance
Joshua Weilerstein conducts the Danish National Symphony Orchestra in Dvořák Symphony No.9 'From the New World': Joshua Weilerstein conducts the New England Conservatory Laboratory Orchestra (footage courtesy of YouTube - part 1 of 5): Joshua Weilerstein in rehearsals...