Principal Guest Conductor
Ken-David Masur -- who has been hailed as "fearless, bold, and a life-force" (San Diego Union-Tribune) and "a brilliant and commanding conductor with unmistakable charisma" (Leipzig Volkszeitung), begins the 2017/18 season leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in a program of Aaron Jay Kernis, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky, and an end-of-summer return to lead the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl in Dvorak 9 and the world premiere of Alan Fletcher’s new piano concerto. The fall brings performances of a new production of Moto Osada’s chamber opera Four Nights of Dream at the Japan Society in New York and at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, followed by a subscription week of Beethoven’s Egmont Overture and a new, staged production of Grieg’s Peer Gynt created especially for the Boston Symphony (writer/Director Bill Barclay) with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Soprano Camilla Tilling, and stage actors at Symphony Hall. Ken will also co-host the Beethoven Symposium as part of the opening ceremonies of the International Kurt Masur Institute in Leipzig together with Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lambert Orkis, Peter Gülke, and Michael Ladenburger, at the newly created institute as well as at the Gewandhaus.
Other guest engagements in 2017/18 include weeks with the Milwaukee, Colorado, and Portland (ME) Symphonies, and returns to the Munich Symphony, where he is Principal Guest Conductor, and to the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Japan.
Masur also led the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood last season (Tchaikovsky 6 and Strauss’ Four Last Songs with Renée Fleming) as well as the L.A. Philharmonic (Beethoven Symphony No. 5 and Korngold violin Cto. with Gil Shaham), and guested at the Orchestre National de France in Paris in a program with Anne-Sophie Mutter, and in Germany, Korea, and Moscow. As a sought-after leader and educator of younger players, Ken-David conducted and participated in training sessions with the Chicago Civic Orchestra, BUTI, New England Conservatory, and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra last season.
Associate Conductor of the Boston Symphony, Ken-David Masur and his wife Melinda Lee Masur are founders and Artistic Directors of the Chelsea Music Festival, an annual two-week long multi-media production of music, art, and cuisine which in June, 2017 presented its 8th season in New York. Its productions are varied and internationally themed, always including premieres of new works by young and established composers -- a celebration of the arts and senses called “a gem of a series” by the New York Times, which frequently features the Festival amongst its Best Classical picks of the season.
Masur’s previous appointments include Associate Conductor of the San Diego Symphony, Assistant Conductor of the Orchestre National de France in Paris from 2004-2006, and Resident Conductor of the San Antonio Symphony in 2007. In 2011, he was the recipient of the Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood, where he was invited to return as a Fellow in 2012. He has had guest engagements with the Dresden, Israel, and Japan Philharmonics; with the Orchestre National de Toulouse, and the Hiroshima, Omaha, and Memphis Symphonies.
Ken-David Masur received his B.A. from Columbia University in New York City. From 1999- 2002 he served as the first Music Director of the Bach Society Orchestra and Chorus there, which toured Germany and released a critically acclaimed album of symphonies and cantatas by W.F. Bach, C.P.E. Bach and J.S. Bach. He received further music studies at the Leipzig Conservatory, the Detmold Academy, the Manhattan School of Music and the “Hanns Eisler” Conservatory in Berlin, where he was a five-year master student of Bass-Baritone Thomas Quasthoff.
Masur studied conducting primarily with his father Kurt Masur and has been further mentored by conductors such as Stefan Asbury, Christoph von Dohnányi, Charles Dutoit, Jorma Panula, Larry Rachleff and Christopher Seaman. He won a GRAMMY nomination from the Latin Recording Academy in the category Best Classical Album of the Year for his work as a producer of the album Salon Buenos Aires.