“One of the most promising podium presences of his generation.”
Joshua Weilerstein is Artistic Director Designate of the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. He will begin his tenure with the orchestra in the 2015/16 season. With a repertoire ranging from Gesualdo to Rouse, he is committed to opening up the traditional classical repertoire to new audiences, enlivening and broadening concert-going and creating a natural dialogue between musicians and their public.
In 2014/15 he makes his debut with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in a programme of Brahms, Pärt, Bartok, and Ligeti, and conducts the Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin, Dallas Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, National Arts Center Orchestra, NHK Symphony and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. He will also return to the BBC Symphony Orchestra, with which he makes his Barbican debut in a programme of Lutoslawski Concerto for Orchestra, Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 and the UK premiere of Christopher Rouse’s Prospero’s Rooms.
In addition to return engagements with the BBC Symphony, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, and Vancouver Symphony, among others, he will take the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg on a seven-city concert tour of Germany, including performances in Munich and Cologne. Further ahead, he will conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, NDR Hannover and Lahti Symphony Orchestras, and will return to the Danish National Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic and to the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne.
Born into a musical family, Weilerstein’s career took off when he won both the First Prize and the Audience Prize at the Malko Competition for Young Conductors in Copenhagen. His experience since then has convinced him of the importance of forging an immediate and natural connection with the audience as well as with the orchestra. He believes strongly in the universality and immediacy of the great masters of the past while also appreciating the accessibility and innovation of the composers of today, hence his commitment to present, whenever possible, at least one piece by a living composer alongside more traditional repertoire.
As one who cherishes the value of music education wherever the opportunity arises, Joshua Weilerstein was heavily involved in Young People’s Concerts during his time as the Assistant Conductor with the New York Philharmonic, and also served as Concertmaster of Discovery Ensemble, a Boston-based chamber orchestra dedicated to presenting classical music to inner-city schools in Boston. He also became closely tied to the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar (a product of the famed El Sistema music program in Venezuela) first as the ensemble’s first non-Venezuelan guest violinist, and then as conductor in 2010 and 2012.
Joshua Weilerstein is always excited to hear from musicians and audiences alike. He is accessible on social media for conversation about the future of classical music, programming, and the experience of concert-going.
Joshua Weilerstein is represented in Europe by Intermusica.
2014/15 season / 464 words. Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material.
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Sibelius, Grieg & Rachmaninov
“Sibelius’s Spring Song, composed in 1894 is one of the composer’s earliest tone poems and seldom heard. So it was particularly interesting to hear it in concert, especially given such an atmospheric reading as Weilerstein’s.”
Seen and Heard International, February 2015
Grand Rapids Symphony / Rouse, Dvořák & Mendelssohn
“The 27-year-old musician from a distinguished family of musicians, proved to be engaging, even playful on the podium, conducting in great detail as needed, but also stepping back and letting the orchestra work its musical magic as well… Weilerstein drew attention to inner voices and often hidden nuances in the piece [Mendelssohn Symphony No.3], making it a refreshing visit with an old friend.”
MLive, January 2015
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra / Ligeti, Chopin & Brahms
"For a maestro so young, what impressed me was his patience and sensitivity in bringing out the beauty and power of this work. He never resorted to display or brilliance to be convincing; everything was intelligently and methodically drawn, building considerable power and electricity at climaxes."
VanClassicalMusic, October 2014
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Sibelius, Beethoven, Grieg & Strauss
“The opening concert of the Festival was the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, with two young musicians with burgeoning international careers making their debuts in Romania: conductor Joshua Weilerstein and pianist Jonathan Biss. The sensitivity and refinement of interpretation in a remarkably diverse programme… were key elements in creating a special chemistry between orchestra and audience.”
Ziarul Financiar, September 2014
Los Angeles Philharmonic / Kodály, Falla, Piazolla, Rodrigo, Kosma & Ravel
“One of the most promising podium presences of his generation.”
LA Times, August 2014
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.”
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.”
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.
Weilerstein 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
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...