New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert has chosen recent NEC graduate Joshua Weilerstein to be assistant conductor for 2011-12 Season. His responsibilities in New York will begin soon after he completes his duties as assistant conductor of Aspen Music Festival and School. This is very much a local story, since the twenty-three-year-old Weilerstein has received all of his professional training at NEC, beginning in the Prep School (class of 2005). This past May, he received dual master’s degrees from NEC in orchestral conducting and in violin, which he studied with Lucy Chapman.
Chosen for the first class in NEC’s prestigious orchestral conducting program directed by Hugh Wolff, Weilerstein was awarded First Prize and the Audience Prize at the 2009 Malko International Competition for Young Conductors in Copenhagen. That win came just weeks after receiving his Bachelor’s degree in violin performance at NEC. Weilerstein’s first-prize honors have included conducting engagements over a three-year period with major Scandinavian orchestras, including the Oslo Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and the Danish National Symphony. In June 2009 he made his professional conducting debut with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.
He shares this honor at New York Philharmonic with fellow conductor Case Scaglione. “We went through an extensive search and are excited to have found two such accomplished and musical colleagues,” said Mr. Gilbert. “They are both extremely promising artists, and I look forward to welcoming them to the New York Philharmonic.”
Weilerstein will conduct the Young People’s Concert on October 15, 2011, and the School Day Concerts there on May 24–25.
In January 2010, he made a conducting debut with the Símon Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, at which the soloist was his sister, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, a member of NEC’s Weilerstein Trio. Weilerstein’s parents are both members of the NEC faculty. Violinist Donald Weilerstein, who was long-time first violinist in the Cleveland Quartet, now holds the NEC Dorothy Richard Starling Chair, and pianist Vivian Hornik Weilerstein directs the Professional Piano Trio Training Program,.
Publisher Lee Eiseman cannot resist using this opportunity to tell a story on Joshua’s father, Donald Weilerstein, who has a reputation as an absent-minded professor. It concerns an ice cream cone on a hot summer day. Seemingly this very considerate man was about to enter a shop with a sign warning, “No food permitted inside.” To comply, he supposedly put the cone in his back pocket. When Eiseman recently asked him if the story were true, Weilerstein responded with mock indignity, “You got it wrong. It was an ice cream sandwich — and it was still wrapped.”