Meet Joseph young

joseph young

A Chill in the Air: a winter concert

December 16, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.

American conductor Joseph Young is among the most gifted artists of his generation, balancing his flourishing career as a guest conductor with leadership roles as Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony and Artistic Director of Ensembles at the Peabody Conservatory.

Recognized by the San Francisco Chronicle for his “eloquence of his programming choices,” he is committed to amplifying a range of different musical voices—both historical and contemporary—that animate his consistently compelling programs, some of which have included works by Juan Pablo Contreras, Brian Raphael Nabors, Florence Price, and Carlos Simon, alongside iconic composers such as John Adams, Brahms, Dvořák, and Prokofiev, among many others. 

His 2022–2023 season was marked by major debuts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl; National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera, both at the Kennedy Center; and NYO2, which he will conduct at Carnegie Hall and in residency in the Dominican Republic. 

In the 2021–2022 season, Joseph made his San Francisco Symphony debut in an appearance called “stirring…robust and fluid” (San Francisco Chronicle); traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa, to inaugurate the newly formed Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra; and led the world premiere of William Menefield and Sheila Williams’ Fierce with the Cincinnati Opera. Other recent engagements include the Seattle Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, New World Symphony Orchestra, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música (Portugal), and the Orquesta Sinfónica y Coro de RTVE (Spain), among others in the U.S. and Europe.

Earlier in his career, Joseph served as the Assistant Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony under Robert Spano, and Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, where he was the driving force behind the ensemble’s artistic growth. He has served as Resident Conductor of the Phoenix Symphony and the League of American Orchestras Conducting Fellow with the Buffalo Philharmonic and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. 

Joseph began his steady ascent in the orchestral world while serving as an educator in South Carolina. Self-guided, self-funded study led him to a conducting workshop with Marin Alsop who, recognizing his raw talent, created the BSO­­–Peabody Conducting Fellowship to facilitate his artistic and professional growth. He has since been mentored by giants of the orchestra world, including Jorma Panula, Robert Spano, and Alsop, with whom he continues to maintain a close artistic partnership. Now a mentor and role model himself, Joseph helps to shape the future of classical music through his dynamic engagements with major symphony orchestras, his steadfast commitment to teaching in classrooms and concert halls, and his service on the board of New Music USA.

Joseph is a three-time recipient of a coveted Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award for young conductors (2008, 2014, 2015). In 2013, he was a semi-finalist in the Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition (Bamberg, Germany) and in 2011, he was one of six conductors featured in the League of American Orchestras’ prestigious Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview.

He holds an Artist’s Diploma in conducting from the Peabody Conservatory, studying with Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of South Carolina. He grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, the eldest son of a banker and a Naval officer, and studied trumpet before picking up a baton

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