Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Announces New Conducting Appointments
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is pleased to announce several conducting appointments: Markus Stenz as principal guest conductor, Ken Lam as associate conductor for education, Nicholas Hersh as assistant conductor and Michael Repper as the 2014-2015 season BSO-Peabody conducting fellow.
Acclaimed German conductor Markus Stenz will begin his three-year tenure as principal guest conductor with the BSO in the 2015-2016 season. He will conduct three weeks each season. Stenz made his BSO debut in October 2012 to great critical acclaim, prompting Baltimore Sun Classical Music Critic Tim Smith to say of his performance: "Stenz made a thrice-familiar score newly gripping - this should be every musician's goal each time at bat, but it just doesn't work out that way very often - and he clearly bonded with the BSO. The players had an on-the-edge-of-their-seats look you don't see from them too often onstage (they applauded Stenz as heartily as the audience after the performance). Each section revealed solid strengths; even the subtlest solos emerged with vivid personality."
Music Director Marin Alsop, who begins a new six-year contract with the BSO in the 2015-16 season, said of Stenz's appointment: "I'm delighted to be joined by long-time friend and colleague, Markus Stenz. We met when we were conducting fellows at Tanglewood in 1989 under Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa and Gustav Meier. When Markus debuted with the BSO, he immediately struck a rapport with our musicians, and they were as enthusiastic as I about creating a position that would bring him to Baltimore on a regular basis. With his wide-ranging experience as a symphonic and opera conductor, and his broad musical reach, Markus will be an outstanding addition to our artistic team. I look forward to our audiences and musicians connecting with him over the next three seasons."
About his appointment as principal guest conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Markus Stenz commented: "I am delighted to be associated with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Our first encounter in October 2012 is unforgettable to me. I loved the musicians' sophisticated and joyous approach to music making and look forward to experiencing a wide variety of repertoire with the orchestra." Stenz returns to the BSO in May 2015.
The BSYO will continue to thrive under the leadership of Artistic Director Ken Lam, who has renewed his contract for an additional two seasons. This position will run concurrently with the newly titled position of associate conductor of education, the responsibilities of which cover approximately half of all the BSO's education concerts. In the upcoming 2014-2015 season, Maestro Lam, who was recently appointed music director designate of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, will lead the BSO in the Family Series concerts Duke Ellington's Nutcracker (December 2014) and Remarkable Farkle McBride (May 2015), in addition to his concerts with the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras.
"I am delighted to be part of an orchestra that places education at the core of its mission," said Lam. "Together with our wonderful team, I look forward to helping create innovative programs and initiatives to make music accessible to more youth in our community."
Nicholas Hersh will begin his tenure with the BSO in September 2014. As assistant conductor, Hersh will serve as a staff conductor, provide artistic support to Music Director Marin Alsop and guest conductors, and serve as cover conductor for orchestral programs. Mr. Hersh has worked with orchestras in North America and Europe, and has received numerous awards for his conducting, including the 2012 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award. He most recently served as music director of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra in Indiana and assistant conductor with the Indiana University Opera Theater. In 2011 and 2012, he was a conducting fellow at the prestigious American Academy of Conducting at Aspen.
"I am honored and excited to be joining the Baltimore Symphony as assistant conductor," said Nicholas Hersh of his appointment. "The BSO is not only a world-class orchestra, but also a leading force in innovative music-making and education for the 21st century, tenets which resonate deeply with me. I am eager to begin working with Maestra Alsop and the wonderful staff and musicians of the BSO. There couldn't be a better position for me to learn and develop as a musician."
Michael Repper is the fifth recipient of the BSO-Peabody Conducting Fellowship, a one-year program designed to support the musical and leadership development of today's young conductors. Beginning in September 2014, Mr. Repper will begin this one-year appointment while continuing his Doctoral studies in conducting at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Repper will also receive personal instruction from Maestra Alsop, who actively shapes the program.
"I am very excited to be joining the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as the new BSO-Peabody Conducting Fellow," said Michael Repper. "The fellowship position is a unique opportunity to grow as a musician and as a conductor, and I am very thankful to Marin Alsop, Peabody, and the BSO for what will be an unparalleled year to come."
Markus Stenz is principal conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (since 2012) and will tour the orchestra through Germany and Austria in the autumn of 2014.
He has held the positions of principal guest conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, England, and most notably in Cologne as general music director and Gürzenich-kapellmeister (posts he relinquished in the summer of 2014). Markus Stenz was artistic director of the Montepulciano Festival (1989-1995), principal conductor of the London Sinfonietta (1994-1998) - one of the most renowned ensembles for contemporary music - as well as artistic director and chief conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (1998-2004).
Trained at the School of Music in Cologne under Volker Wangenheim and at Tanglewood with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa, Markus Stenz made his debut as an opera conductor at La Fenice in Venice and has since conducted many world premieres and first performances and has appeared at many of the world's major opera houses in Milan, Chicago, London, Berlin and Munich and international festivals in Glyndebourne, Edinburgh, Bregenz and Salzburg. His core operatic repertoire comprises works by Mozart, Wagner and Janá?ek, as well as Berg and Schreker.
Markus Stenz conducts the world's leading orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Berlin Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Vienna Symphony and the NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo. For the label OehmsClassics, Markus Stenz and the Gürzenich Orchestra have recently completed recording the complete cycle of Gustav Mahler's symphonies. Markus Stenz has been awarded an honorary fellowship of the Royal Northern College of Music.
Winner of the 2011 Memphis International Conducting Competition, Ken Lam has recently been named music director designate of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina. He also holds the posts of resident conductor at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina, education conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, artistic director of the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras and associate professor and director of orchestra at Montclair State University in New Jersey.
Ken Lam was a featured conductor in the League of American Orchestra's 2009 Bruno Walter National Conductors Preview with the Nashville Symphony and made his U.S. professional debut with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in June 2008 as one of four conductors selected by Leonard Slatkin. In recent seasons, he led performances with the symphony orchestras of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Pops, Baltimore, Charleston, Detroit, Memphis, Illinois and Meridian, as well as the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Taipei Symphony Orchestra. In opera, he has led critically acclaimed performances at the Spoleto Festival, Lincoln Center Festival in New York and the Luminato Festival in Toronto, Canada. His run of Massenet's Manon at Peabody Conservatory was hailed by the Baltimore Sun as a Top 10 Classical Event in the Washington, D.C/Baltimore area in 2010.
Lam has been artistic director of Hong Kong Voices since 2000, and held positions as assistant conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and principal conductor of the Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra. Before becoming a conductor, Ken Lam was a practicing solicitor for 10 years and read economics and law at Cambridge University.
Winner of the 2012 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, conductor Nicholas Hersh most recently served as music director of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra in Indiana and assistant conductor with the Indiana University Opera Theater. He has appeared in concert with the New World Symphony in Miami and the Southern Great Lakes Symphony in Detroit, and he has served as cover conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. In 2011 and 2012, he was a conducting fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, and he was named assistant conductor with the National Repertory Orchestra for the 2013 summer season.
Nicholas Hersh started his musical training with the cello. He earned a bachelor's degree in music from Stanford University and a master's degree in conducting from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, studying with David Effron and Arthur Fagen.
Hersh's performance credits span a range of genres beyond the concert canon, including opera, Broadway, pops, choral, Viennese dance, ballet and film music. An avid performer of new music, he has conducted world premieres of two silent film scores live with pit orchestra and projection. He also continues to earn acclaim for his skill as an arranger and orchestrator; his arrangements include commissions from the Cleveland Pops, the National Repertory Orchestra and the Jackson Symphony, and in 2013, his orchestral arrangement of the popular Queen rock song "Bohemian Rhapsody" saw worldwide success after the video of its premiere went viral on the Internet.
Michael Repper is a conductor currently in residence at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He began piano study at age five, conducting at age 10, and has solo and ensemble experience playing violin, clarinet and trombone. He recently graduated with honors from Stanford University, completing both a B.A. and M.A. in music. At Peabody, Mr. Repper is a candidate for the degree of doctor of musical arts where he studies with Gustav Meier, Markand Thakar and his longtime mentor Marin Alsop. He currently serves as the assistant conductor of the Peabody Singers, the Peabody-Hopkins Chorus and the Peabody Concert Orchestra under Ed Polochick. He has led the Peabody Symphony Orchestra in multiple recordings of new compositions, and he conducts Musicians of Mercy, a Symphony Orchestra in Metropolitan Washington, D.C. that performs concerts to raise money for local and national charities. He is the production stage manager and orchestral librarian for the Concert Artists of Baltimore, and he is the music director of Grace and St. Peter's Church.
His conducting studies began with Branden Muresan and followed with Dr. Gregory, Jindong Cai and Marin Alsop. Past teachers include Dr. Fred Weldy, Aleli Tibay, Dr. Scott McBride Smith and Nehama Patkin in Melbourne, Australia. He has collaborated with Tony Award winning Pamela Winslow Kashani, award nominee Susan Egan, as well as Todrick Hall, Alli Mauzey and many others.