The ongoing search for a permanent conductor of the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra. Joshua Gersen will be the guest conductor for two concerts with the fantastic musicians of the GSO.
The concerts will take place in the beautiful Performing Arts Center at Greenwich High School on Saturday, February 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 27 at 3:00 p.m.
In addition to candidates Melisse Brunet, Martin Majkut, Stuart Malina and Ransom Wilson, Gersen is in the running for the position of permanent leader.
“These concerts are very special to me as I grew up in County Fairfield not far from Greenwich and I remember going to see the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra as a student many years ago,” said Gersen in an interview.
The program will open with “The Golden Palace”, a festive, lively and joyful work of “Sun Warrior” by Eleanor Alberga.
This will be followed by Sergius Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, which Gersen described as one of Rachmaninoff’s most famous and popular pieces, and which features what he described as a fiendishly difficult piano part .
“We are very fortunate to be joined by pianist Sara Davis Buechner, one of the great American pianists of the time,” said Gersen.
After the intermission, the last piece of the program will be Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar.
“In this piece, Elgar took a simple melody he wrote while improvising on the piano one day, and wrote a series of variations of that melody,” Gersen said, adding, “Each variation was inspired or intended to represent one of his friends and colleagues. It’s a very charming, personal and beautiful piece of music. But there’s also a bit of mystery to it.
Click here to buy tickets. Tickets are valid for either performance; places are not reserved. Proof of vaccination will be required at the door. Adult tickets are $40, student tickets $10.
Gersen has been Music Director of the New York Youth Symphony for five years and recently concluded his tenure as Deputy Conductor of the New York Philharmonic.
A respected composer and conductor, Gersen is a champion of contemporary music and was the principal conductor of the Ojai Music Festival in 2013, where he conducted many performances by famous American composers such as Lou Harrison and John Luther. Adams. He also remains passionate about the core classical repertoire, especially the German and Russian masters, as well as American classical composers including Copland, Gershwin, Barber and Bernstein.
Gersen has enjoyed a very fruitful relationship with the New World Symphony and since his beginnings conducting the San Francisco Symphony he has been invited on several occasions to conduct a variety of concerts.
He received his undergraduate degree in composition from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and received his degree in orchestral conducting from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
Additionally, Gersen will speak at the Greenwich Retired Men’s Association on February 23 in a conversational format with RMA’s Gerald Pollack. The conference is free and open to the public (proof of vaccination and mandatory reminder. Mandatory masks). The conference begins at 11:00 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church at One West Putnam Ave. You can also watch the conference via Zoom.