The appointment, to begin with the 2021-2022 season, brings together an international conductor with local roots and one of this areas's most dynamic ensembles.
“Welcoming Josh to the Phoenix family is the biggest news we have shared since launching the orchestra in 2014,” says Matt Szymanski, Executive Director of the six-year-old Phoenix Orchestra.
“He is an impeccable musician who comes to the table with well-established relationships with many of our musicians. He shares our commitment to fostering a warm, welcoming atmosphere for veteran concertgoers and newcomers alike, and to ensuring audiences hear contemporary and unfairly neglected historic composers alongside traditional repertoire. Our musicians are universally brimming with the anticipation of getting to work with him next year, and I join our audiences in eagerly awaiting their first concert together next season.”
Weilerstein has served as Artistic Director of the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne since 2014. He was Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic from 2012–15, and has a flourishing guest conducting career, regularly conducting the world’s top orchestras, such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit and Milwaukee, London Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Finnish Radio Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and the BBC Philharmonic, among others.
A classmate of several founding members of Phoenix at New England Conservatory, he has had strong connections to the organization since its inception. In 2017, with the mission of giving listeners an inside look at the world of classical music he launched Sticky Notes, a podcast featuring interviews with the top artists of today, in-depth looks at specific pieces from the repertoire, and deep dives into each era of classical music. Today, episodes of Sticky Notes have been downloaded over two million times in 154 countries.
"I could not possibly be more thrilled to become Phoenix's new Music Director,” says Weilerstein. “Phoenix’s core values of innovation, the breaking down of barriers, and the pure joy of reveling in this beautiful art form are ones that I share wholeheartedly. Working with this kind of dynamic, motivated, and extraordinarily talented ensemble is something every conductor dreams about. It is especially exciting to be returning home to Boston to lead a group that is on the vanguard of the orchestral world, and I can’t wait to get started!"