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Boston Symphony Orchestra Associate Conductor Ken-David Masur makes his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia in summer 2018, leading two all-Tchaikovsky programs, then returns to Tanglewood to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra in music of Glinka, Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Kirill Gerstein, and Stravinsky's Firebird. He travels to Tokyo at summer's end to conduct workshops and a concert celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Mendelssohn Foundation in Japan. In October 2018 he leads a subscription week with the BSO. Guest engagements in the coming season include those with the Louisville Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, and Chicago Civic Orchestra, plus concerts abroad with the National Philharmonic of Russia, Collegium Musicum Basel, Stavanger Symphony, and Mulhouse Symphony Orchestra in France. Recent performance highlights include weeks with the Milwaukee, Colorado, and Portland (ME) symphonies and returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Munich Symphony, where he is Principal Guest Conductor, and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Japan. He led l' Orchestre National de France in Paris in a program with Anne-Sophie Mutter, and regularly conducts in Germany, Korea, and Moscow. As a sought-after leader and educator of younger players, Mr. Masur frequently conducts the Chicago Civic Orchestra, Boston University Tanglewood Institute orchestra, and the New England Conservatory, and Tanglewood Music Center Orchestras.
Ken-David Masur and his wife, pianist Melinda Lee Masur, are founders and Artistic Directors of the Chelsea Music Festival, an annual two-week multimedia production of music, art, and cuisine, which in June 2018 presented its 9th season, "Bach 333," in New York City. Its productions are varied and internationally themed, always including premieres of new works by young and established composers. The New York Times frequently features the festival amongst its Best Classical picks of the season.
In 2011 Ken-David Masur was the recipient of the Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood, where he was invited to return as a Fellow in 2012. He made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut at Tanglewood in July 2012, sharing a program with his father, conductor Kurt Masur. He became a BSO assistant conductor in fall 2014. Previous appointments include associate conductor of the San Diego Symphony, assistant conductor of the Orchestre National de France, and resident conductor of the San Antonio Symphony. He has had guest engagements with the Dresden, Israel, and Japan Philharmonics; with the Orchestre National de Toulouse, and the Hiroshima, Omaha, and Memphis symphonies. Ken-David Masur has recently made recordings with the English Chamber Orchestra and violinist Fanny Clamagirand, as well as with the Stavanger Symphony. As founding music director of the Bach Society Orchestra and Chorus at Columbia University, he toured Germany and released a critically acclaimed album of symphonies and cantatas by W.F. Bach, C.P.E. Bach and J.S. Bach. Masur received a Grammy nomination from the Latin Recording Academy in the category Best Classical Album of the Year for his work as a producer of the album "Salon Buenos Aires."
Ken-David Masur, conductor
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James Burton was appointed Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and to the newly created position of BSO Choral Director, in February 2017. He made his BSO subscription-series conducting debut in October 2018, leading the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Maija Einfelde’s Lux aeterna. In August 2019 he led the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir and Boston Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of his The Lost Words, a BSO co-commission, as part of the summer’s gala Tanglewood on Parade concert. In April 2020 he will conduct the Tanglewood Festival Concert in a post-concert Casual Friday performance of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil to celebrate the TFC’s fiftieth anniversary. Mr. Burton made his debut with the Boston Pops in December 2017, returned to the Pops podium last December—as he will again for Holiday Pops concerts in December 2019—and led the Pops this past June at Tanglewood in a program celebrating Queen with Marc Martel.
Born in London, James Burton holds a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Frederik Prausnitz and Gustav Meier. He began his training at the Choir of Westminster Abbey, where he became head chorister, and was a choral scholar at St. John’s College, Cambridge. He has conducted concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Hallé Orchestra, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra, and Manchester Camerata. Opera credits include performances at English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Garsington Opera, and the Prague Summer Nights Festival, and he has served on the music staff of the Metropolitan Opera and Opera de Paris. Mr. Burton’s extensive choral conducting has included guest invitations with professional choirs including the Gabrieli Consort, the Choir of the Enlightenment, Wrocław Philharmonic, and the BBC Singers, with whom he performed in the inaugural season of Dubai’s Opera House in 2017. From 2002 to 2009 he served as choral director at the Hallé Orchestra, where he was music director of the Hallé Choir and founding conductor of the Hallé Youth Choir, winning the Gramophone Choral Award in 2009. From 2002 to 2017 he was music director of the Schola Cantorum of Oxford. Well known for his inspirational work with young musicians, he was director of the National Youth Choir of Japan in 2017 and founded the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir in 2018. Mr. Burton has given conducting master classes at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at the Tanglewood Music Center, and founded a scholarship for young conductors at Oxford. His growing composition portfolio includes works for commissioners including the National Portrait Gallery in London, the 2010 World Equestrian Games, the Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and the Exon Festival, where he was composer-in-residence in 2015. His works are published by Edition Peters. As BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, James Burton occupies the Alan J. and Suzanne W. Dworsky Chair, endowed in perpetuity.
James Burton, conductor
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Born in Barquisimeto (Venezuela), he started his studies at "El
Sistema", a revolutionary music education program in his home
country, under the guidance of the tenor Ídwer Álvarez.
After his debut at the age of 25 with the role of Shaunard
in La Bohème he has appeared as Sharpless
in Madama Butterfly, Sacristan
in Tosca and Belcore in L'Elisir
d'Amore. Other roles include Valentin in Diana
Daniele's Faust, Dandini in La Cenerentola
for children, an adaptation by Alexander Krampe of Rossini's
His extensive international concert work includes W. A. Mozart,
A. Faist, M. Duruflé and G. Fauré's Requiem,
Mozart's Coronation Mass,
Bach's Magnificat, Beethoven's Symphony No.
9 in D minor, Orff's Carmina Burana and
Antonio Estévez' Cantata Criolla and many
Since 2016, he is member of the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala
in Milan where he as recently appeared as Peter in
Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel and Figaro
in Il Barbiere di Siviglia for children.
Future engagements include Figaro in Il Barbiere
di Siviglia at the Teatro alla Scala, Sharpless
in Madama Butterfly and Figaro
in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in tour in Tuscany,
Foscari in Il Bravo at the Wexford Festival
Opera, Cantata Criolla with the Boston Symphony
Gustavo Castillo, baritone