Ken-David Masur — who has been hailed “fearless, bold, and a life-force” (San Diego Union-Tribune) and “a brilliant and commanding conductor with unmistakable charisma” (Leipzig Volkszeitung), has been selected to succeed Edo de Waart as the Music Director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra beginning in the 2019/20 season. Now at the end his Associate Conductorship with the Boston Symphony, he recently stepped into two programs earlier this spring to replace Gustavo Dudamel on a day’s notice, leading the BSO in Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Schumann’s First Symphony, followed by a week of Berlioz and Ravel – in addition to his own Boston Symphony subscription week last fall. Over the course of two months this summer, Masur will lead several events at Tanglewood, including a new work by Augusta Read Thomas as part of the highly anticipated opening of the Tanglewood Learning Institute. In addition to giving masterclasses and lectures, he will also lead a concert featuring violinist Joshua Bell and the Boston Symphony in works by Martinu and Dvorak. For one week in July, he will join the Verbier Festival, leading the Junior Orchestra in Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Schumann, featuring cellist Mischa Maisky.
Masur debuted with the Chicago Symphony last summer leading two all-Tchaikovsky programs at Ravinia, followed by a BSO program (Glinka/Rachmaninoff/Stravinsky) at Tanglewood. At summer’s end he conducted workshops and a concert celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Mendelssohn Foundation in Tokyo. Other guest engagements in 2018/19 have included weeks with the Louisville Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, 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.
Masur has led the Colorado, Omaha, Rhode Island, and Portland (ME) Symphonies, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Munich Symphony, and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Japan. He conducted 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, Masur 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 summer festival of music, art, and cuisine which just presented its 10th season in New York in June, 2019 in programs celebrating the 200th birthday of Clara Schumann. 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 made recent 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, New York’s classical music station, 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.”