LA Opera Names Grant Gershon as Resident Conductor

(Los Angeles, CA) January 30, 2012 – Plácido Domingo, LA Opera’s Eli and Edythe Broad General Director, announced today that Grant Gershon, who has served as Associate Conductor / Chorus Master since 2007, will become Resident Conductor on July 1, 2012, effective through the end of the 2013/14 season.

“Grant has become a critical member of our artistic team, and I am delighted that he has agreed to take on additional leadership responsibilities in the coming seasons,” said Mr. Domingo. “He is a beloved colleague and a superb conductor, with memorable performances at LA Opera and other major U.S. opera companies.”

Mr. Domingo also announced that Mr. Gershon will return to the LA Opera podium to conduct a major production in the 2012/13 season. “James Conlon, LA Opera’s Richard Seaver Music Director, and I look forward to expanding Grant’s visibility as a conductor, and we are both gratified that he will continue to serve as our chorus director,” he continued. “He is one of America’s foremost prominent choral conductors, and our audiences have cheered his extraordinary work with the LA Opera Chorus in such demanding and varied repertoire as Fidelio, Götterdämmerung and Eugene Onegin.

Grant Gershon made his acclaimed LA Opera conducting debut leading La Traviata in 2009. In 2010, he conducted LA Opera’s world premiere of Daniel Catán’s Il Postino, which was filmed for a subsequent PBS telecast on “Great Performances.” In 2011, he conducted LA Opera’s presentation of Handel's L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, choreographed by Mark Morris. He made his Santa Fe Opera debut in 2010, conducting a new production of Vivaldi’s Griselda. In 2007, he conducted the Minnesota Opera’s world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath and led subsequent performances of the work with the Utah Symphony.  An ardent champion of new music, Mr. Gershon conducted the world premiere performances of John Adams' opera/theater piece I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, directed by Peter Sellars in Berkeley in 1995. At the Hollywood Bowl he led the 2010 opening concert of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Classical Series. He has also guest conducted the San Antonio Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Houston Grand Opera, Juilliard Opera Theatre, Gustav Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Finnish chamber orchestra Avanti! and Berkshire Choral Festival, among others.

“I am very happy indeed to accept this new position, which reflects my increased activities on the podium as well as ‘behind the scenes’ at LA Opera,” said Mr. Gershon. “I am deeply honored to continue my work with Plácido and James, who have set the musical standards of this company so extraordinarily high. LA Opera has been an enormously important part of my life since I first began here as a pianist more than two decades ago. Now in my dual roles as Music Director of the LA Master Chorale and Resident Conductor of the LA Opera, I am honored and humbled to have become a part of the musical leadership of my native city.”

Since 2001, Grant Gershon has been Music Director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, where he has led over 90 performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall, including virtually all of the major choral works.  In 2006, he appeared on the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center leading the LA Master Chorale in vocal works of Steve Reich, and on the Making Music Series at Zankel Hall. His discography includes two Grammy-nominated recordings: Sweeney Todd (New York Philharmonic Special Editions) and Ligeti’s Grand Macabre (Sony Classical), as well as four CDs with the Master Chorale: Glass-Salonen (RCM), You Are (Variations) (Nonesuch), Daniel Variations (Nonesuch) and A Good Understanding (Decca). He has served as Music Director of the Idyllwild Arts Festival Choir since 2003. He previously was assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (1994-97) and assistant conductor/principal pianist with the LA Opera (1988-94), where he helped to prepare more than 40 productions and garnered a reputation as one of the country's exceptional vocal coaches. He is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Thornton School and the Board of Directors of Chorus America.

“I am extremely happy that Grant will continue his collaboration with us at LA Opera,” said Mr. Conlon. “He has made an enormous contribution to the musical standards of our theater and I look forward to working with him for many more years.”

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