Music Director Designate, Polly and Bill Van Dyke Music Director Chair


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), began the 2018.19 season making his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia in two all-Tchaikovsky programs, then returned to Tanglewood to lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a program of Glinka, Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 with Kirill Gerstein, and Stravinsky’s Firebird. At summer’s end, he conducted workshops and a concert celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Mendelssohn Foundation in Tokyo.

In the fall he leads a subscription week with the BSO, where he continues as Associate Conductor.  His guest engagements this season include weeks with the Louisville Orchestra, the Detroit and Milwaukee Symphonies, and the Chicago Civic Orchestra, plus concerts abroad with the National Philharmonic of Russia, Collegium Musicum Basel, the Stavanger Symphony, and the Mulhouse Symphony Orchestra in France.

Other recent guest engagements include weeks with the Milwaukee, Colorado, and Portland (ME) Symphonies, and returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Munich Symphony, where he is Principal Guest Conductor, and to the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Japan. He led l’Orchestre National de France in Paris in a program with Anne-Sophie Mutter, and regularly conducts in Germany, Korea, and Moscow. As a sought-after leader and educator of younger players, Ken-David frequently conducts the Chicago Civic Orchestra, BUTI, and the New England Conservatory and Tanglewood Music Center Orchestras.

Ken-David Masur and his wife, pianist 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, 2018 presented its 9th season, “Bach 333,” 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.

Ken-David Masur has recently made recordings with the English Chamber Orchestra and violinist Fanny Clamagirand, and with the Stavanger Symphony. As founding Music Director of the Bach Society Orchestra and Chorus at Columbia University, he toured Germany and released a critically acclaimed album of symphonies and cantatas by W.F. Bach, C.P.E. Bach and J.S. Bach. WQXR recently named Masur’s recording with the Stavanger Symphony of Gisle Kverndokk’s Symphonic Dances one of “The Best New Classical Releases of July 2018”. Masur received 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.