British conductor Ben 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. Not yet 30, he has already conducted many of the world’s major orchestras including the Czech Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony orchestras and he is now working increasingly in the opera house. In 2017 Gernon took up his position of Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the youngest conductors to have held a titled position with a BBC orchestra, and in 2018 conducted them in a televised performance at the BBC Proms.
In the 18/19 season, Gernon’s engagements include concerts in London and Dubai with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, concerts across the UK and on tour to Bucharest with the BBC Philharmonic. He returns to the Czech Philharmonic for his third visit, and to the Swedish Radio Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony orchestras and Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and he makes his debut with the Swedish Chamber, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Warsaw Philharmonic orchestras.
A keen opera conductor, Gernon makes his debut in 18/19 at English National Opera conducting Simon McBurney’s production of The Magic Flute and returns to Royal Swedish Opera for a new production of Madama Butterfly following his debut last season conducting The Magic Flute. In 2017 Gernon returned to Glyndebourne Touring Opera for a production of Barber of Seville and the previous season made his debut at Stuttgart Opera conducting The Marriage of Figaro.
Recent highlights for Gernon have included many significant debuts across the globe with orchestras such as the Vienna Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Munich Chamber, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestras as well as regular engagements with most of the UK’s orchestras, including the Philharmonia and City of Birmingham Symphony orchestras, and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the BBC Proms on the occasion of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s 80th Birthday. He has recently made two recordings, with the Czech Philharmonic for Signum Records and with the BBC Scottish Symphony for Hyperion.
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.
The discovery of this concert was how impressively young conductor, Ben Gernon, handled not just the evanescent textures of Alasdair Nicolson’s Shadows, but also two less-championed works by Britten and Tchaikovsky.
Gernon is seeing his career take some big steps forward this year. His clear, decisive hand movements guaranteed a keen performance of Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem.
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.