During last Thursday’s dress rehearsal for a New York Philharmonic Tchaikovsky concert, conductor Semyon Bychkov “felt ill with a stomach virus and had to leave,” writes Anthony Tommasini in Friday’s (2/10) New York Times. “Joshua Gersen, the Philharmonic’s 32-year-old assistant conductor … made his Philharmonic subscription series debut a few hours later…. Gersen … described what turned out to be a milestone day…. Q: How much notice did you have about stepping in? … I had about three or four hours to adjust. Q: So, you got to rehearse ‘Francesca da Rimini,’ a piece you’d never performed. But did you know the score? It’s sort of the job of the assistant conductor to be at the rehearsals and learn the repertory…. I knew the score. Q: … I’m sure working with student players [as music director of the New York Youth Symphony] hones a conductor’s technique. It’s good training. But conducting the New York Philharmonic without a rehearsal is a different animal…. They certainly had my back all night and did such a wonderful job… It meant a lot to feel that energy.” In 2013, Gersen participated in the League of American Orchestras’ Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview.
Posted February 14, 2017
Photo of Joshua Gersen conducting the New York Philharmonic by Chris Lee