View biography in full page >
Giancarlo Guerrero is a six-time GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor now in his tenth season as Music Director of the Nashville Symphony. Guerrero is also Music Director of the Wrocław Philharmonic at the National Forum of Music in Poland and Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, Portugal. Guerrero is widely praised for his instinctive musicianship and for bringing to the podium “not only vitality and insight but also an appealing physical dynamism” (The Plain Dealer).
A passionate proponent of new music, Guerrero has championed the works of America's most respected composers through commissions, recordings, and world premieres. Guerrero’s advocacy has helped make Nashville a destination for contemporary orchestral music. He has presented nine world premieres with the Nashville Symphony, including the 2016 performance and recent GRAMMY®-winning recording of Jennifer Higdon’s All Things Majestic and the 2018 premiere and recording of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Symphony No. 4 “Heichalos,” written for the Nashville Symphony’s Violins of Hope initiative, which featured a collection of restored instruments that survived the Holocaust. As part of his commitment to fostering contemporary music, Guerrero developed and guided the creation of Nashville Symphony’s Composer Lab & Workshop initiative, together with composer Aaron Jay Kernis.
Fall of 2018 brings the Naxos release of John Harbison’s monumental Requiem with the Nashville Symphony and Chorus. The release marks both Guerrero’s first choral recording and the first time the work will be heard on record since its premiere by the Boston Symphony in 2003. In the spring of 2019, Naxos will release Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony’s recording of Leshnoff’s Symphony No. 4. Recent seasons have also seen the release of new albums with Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony dedicated to the music of Terry Riley, Michael Daugherty and Richard Danielpour, as well as a collection of wind concertos by Frank Ticheli, Brad Warnaar, and Behzad Ranjbaran. With the Harbison and Leshnoff releases, Guerrero’s rich discography with the Nashville Symphony will number 17.
Outside of Nashville, Wrocław and Lisbon, Guerrero enjoys relationships with orchestras around the world. His 2018/19 engagements will include the Dallas Symphony, Chicago Symphony, NDR in Hannover, OSESP São Paulo and Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia.
Maestro Guerrero has appeared with prominent North American orchestras, including those of Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Montréal, Philadelphia, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, and the National Symphony Orchestra. He has developed a strong international guest-conducting profile and has worked in recent seasons with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Brussels Philharmonic, Deutsches Radio Philharmonie, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Netherlands Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the Queensland Symphony and Sydney Symphony in Australia.
Guerrero made his debut with Houston Grand Opera in 2015 conducting Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Early in his career, he worked regularly with the Costa Rican Lyric Opera and has conducted new productions of Carmen, La bohème, and Rigoletto. In 2008 he gave the Australian premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's one-act opera Ainadamar at the Adelaide Festival.
Guerrero previously held posts as the Principal Guest Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra Miami (2011-2016), Music Director of the Eugene Symphony (2002-2009), and Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra (1999-2004).
Guerrero was born in Nicaragua and immigrated during his childhood to Costa Rica, where he joined the local youth symphony. He quickly proved to be a promising young percussionist and came to the United States to study percussion and conducting at Baylor University in Texas and at Northwestern. Given his beginnings in civic youth orchestras, Guerrero is particularly engaged with conducting training orchestras and works regularly with the Curtis School of Music, Colburn School in Los Angeles, and Yale Philharmonia, as well as with the Nashville Symphony’s Accelerando program, which provides music education to promising young students from underrepresented ethnic communities. In recent years, he has developed a relationship with the National Youth Orchestra (NYO2) in New York, created and operated by the Weill Institute of Music at Carnegie Hall.
Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor
View biography in full page >
THE TRAINING GROUNDS FOR THE MUSICIANS OF TOMORROW
The Tanglewood Music Center Fellowship Program is the Boston Symphony Orchestra's summer academy for advanced musical study. The TMC offers an intensive schedule of study and performance for emerging professional instrumentalists, singers, conductors, and composers who have completed most of their formal training in music.
Serge Koussevitzky, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's music director from 1924 to 1949, founded the school with the intention of creating a premier music academy where, with the resources of a great symphony orchestra at their disposal, young musicians would sharpen their skills under the tutelage of Boston Symphony Orchestra musicians and other specially invited artists.
The Berkshire Music Center opened formally on July 8, 1940, with both speeches (Koussevitzky, alluding to the war then raging in Europe, said, "If ever there was a time to speak of music, it is now in the New World") and music, including the first performance of Randall Thompson's Alleluia for unaccompanied chorus, which was written for the ceremony and arrived less than an hour before the event was to begin, but which made such an impression that it is sung every summer at the TMC's Opening Exercises. The TMC became Koussevitzky's pride and joy for the rest of his life. He assembled an extraordinary faculty in composition, operatic and choral activities, and instrumental performance; he himself taught the most gifted conductors.
Koussevitzky continued to develop the Tanglewood Music Center until 1950, a year after his retirement as the BSO's music director. Charles Munch, his successor in that position, ran the TMC from 1951 through 1962, working with Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland to shape the school's programs. In 1963, new BSO Music Director Erich Leinsdorf took over the school's reins, returning to Koussevitzky's hands-on leadership approach while restoring a renewed emphasis on contemporary music. The TMC's annual Festival of Contemporary Music, produced in association with the Fromm Music Foundation, was begun in 1963.
In 1970, three years before his appointment as BSO music director, Seiji Ozawa became head of the BSO's programs at Tanglewood, with Gunther Schuller leading the TMC and Leonard Bernstein as general advisor. Leon Fleisher served as the TMC's Artistic Director from 1985 to 1997. In 1994, with the opening of Seiji Ozawa Hall, the TMC centralized its activities on the Leonard Bernstein Campus, which also includes the Aaron Copland Library, chamber music studios, administrative offices, and the Leonard Bernstein Performers Pavilion adjacent to Ozawa Hall. In 1998, Ellen Highstein was appointed to the new position of Director of the Tanglewood Music Center, operating under the artistic supervision of Seiji Ozawa. Maestro James Levine took over as Music Director of the BSO in 2005 and has continued the tradition of hands-on involvement with the TMC, conducting both orchestral concerts and staged operas, as well as participating in masterclasses for singers, conductors, and composers.
It would be impossible to list all the distinguished musicians who have studied at the Tanglewood Music Center. According to recent estimates, 20 percent of the members of American symphony orchestras, and 30 percent of all first-chair players, studied at the TMC.
Today, alumni of the Tanglewood Music Center play a vital role in the musical life of the nation. Tanglewood and the Tanglewood Music Center, have become a fitting shrine to the memory of Serge Koussevitzky, a living embodiment of the vital, humanistic tradition that was his legacy. At the same time, the Tanglewood Music Center maintains its commitment to the future as one of the world's most important training grounds for the composers, conductors, instrumentalists, and vocalists of tomorrow.
TMC Conducting and Vocal Fellow