Internationally recognized for his deep musicianship and passionate communication, Sameer Patel is one of America's most exciting young conductors.
He is the newly appointed artistic director of the San Diego Youth Symphony, a transformational organization that reaches more than 3,000 students in its community through its 13 ensembles, El Sistema-inspired classroom programs and early-childhood music classes. He also serves as associate conductor of the Sun Valley Music Festival and recently concluded an acclaimed tenure as associate conductor of the San Diego Symphony, where he reinvigorated the orchestra’s programming and community engagement.
With an unending enthusiasm for contemporary music, Patel has championed works by living composers such as Adam Schoenberg, Anna Clyne, Mason Bates, Ellen Reid, Hannah Lash, Tan Dun and many others. As a proud product of publicpschool music education, Patel dedicates time each season to working with school and community ensembles, youth orchestras, youth music camps and all-state orchestras nationwide.
His work has been honored by the Solti Foundation U.S., which granted him three consecutive Career Assistance Awards and an Elizabeth Buccheri Opera Residency with North Carolina Opera. In 2016, he was recognized by Daniele Gatti as a top conductor at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy, which led to his acclaimed debut with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo. In 2013, Kurt Masur, formerly music director of the New York Philharmonic, lauded Patel’s talents with a prize from the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Foundation, which allowed him to study with and assist Maestro Masur in his appearances with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
That same year, Patel was one of only six conductors selected by the League of American Orchestras for the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, which led to subsequent, multiple engagements with that orchestra. In the early stages of his career he held conducting positions with the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.
Patel studied at the University of Michigan and furthered his training in Europe with some of the greatest conductors of this era, including Gianandrea Noseda, Daniele Gatti, David Zinman, Paavo Järvi and the late conductors Kurt Masur and Bernard Haitink. Additionally, he has assisted and learned from leading conductors Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Edo de Waart, Robert Spano, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Stéphane Denève, Jaap van Zweden, Thomas Wilkins, Larry Rachleff and Mei-Ann Chen, among many others.
Born and raised in Michigan, Patel makes his home in San Diego with his wife, Shannon, and their young son and daughter. In his spare time, he pursues his passions for reading, languages, jazz, traveling, history and tennis.