Copyright © 2002
Violist Alan Gilbert is an extremely versatile musician. In recent years Alan Gilbert has emerged as one of the most active and sought-after conductors of his generation. In January 2000 he assumes the position of Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra leading the orchestra in performances of Haydn’s The Creation. This prestigious appointment was announced exactly one year after his very successful debut with the orchestra as part of their Mahler Cycle.
During the 1999/2000 season in North America, Alan Gilbert will make his Carnegie Hall debut with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and lead the orchestras of Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Utah, San Francisco, Baltimore and the Aspen Music Festival. Mr. Gilbert recently made his debut with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood. Equally active in Europe, Mr. Gilbert regularly conducts such orchestras as the Stockholm Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de la Radio France, the Tonhalle Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suiss Romande and the Bamberg Symphony. This season’s European debuts include the Frankfurt Radio Symphony and he will also make his debut with the Sydney Symphony in Australia. In addition, Mr. Gilbert conducts Japan’s NHK Symphony each year, and has also led the Tokyo and Sapporo Symphony Orchestras, as well as the China Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra in a nationally televised concert from Beijing.
Alan Gilbert was born in New York and began playing violin at a young age. His parents, both violinists in the New York Philharmonic, were his first teachers. He continued his studies and participated in the Juilliard Pre-College program during high school. An accomplished violinist and violist as well as conductor, Mr. Gilbert has performed extensively as a chamber musician and soloist and played for two years as a substitute violinist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. During the summer of 1993, he served as assistant concertmaster of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra.
While an undergraduate at Harvard University, Mr. Gilbert studied composition with Leon Kirchner, Peter Lieberson, and Earl Kim. During his years at Harvard, he served as Assistant Conductor of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra and Music Director of Harvard's Bach Society Orchestra while also studying violin with Masuko Ushioda at the New England Conservatory of Music. At Harvard, Mr. Gilbert earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree with honors and was awarded the University’s Sudler Prize and the Horblitt Award for Music Performance.
Following the completion of his undergraduate work, Alan Gilbert continued his conducting studies at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music with Otto-Werner Müller, where he earned an Artist's Diploma in Conducting, and at Tanglewood, where he twice received the Grieve Foundation Fellowship for Conductors. In May 1994, Mr. Gilbert earned a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School of Music, where he had studied with Müller and served as Conductor of the Juilliard Pre-College Symphony.
In 1994, Mr. Gilbert's talent and musicianship were recognized with several prestigious conducting awards including the American Symphony Orchestra League's Helen M. Thompson Award, a bi-annual honor given by the League to a promising young conductor. In September 1994, he was unanimously awarded First Prize in the International Competition for Musical Performance held in Geneva, Switzerland, and also received the competition's Swiss Prize, it’s Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award, and the Sir Georg Solti Prize, which granted Mr. Gilbert a week of coaching with Maestro Solti.
Mr. Gilbert was appointed to the conducting staff of The Cleveland Orchestra in 1994 and held the post of Assistant Conductor from 1995 to 1997. In this position, he regularly conducted subscription and family concerts, and also led the Orchestra each summer at the Blossom Music Festival. Mr. Gilbert completed a five year appointment as Music Director of the Haddonfield Symphony in New Jersey at the close of the 1996/97 season.
In October 1997, Alan Gilbert was awarded the prestigious Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts Conductors Award. This award is granted every three years to exceptionally gifted American conductors chosen by a distinguished panel of managers and conductors of major American orchestras.