Ben Gernon first attracted international attention when he won the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductor’s Award in 2013 following a unanimous decision by the jury led by Ingo Metzmacher, and soon after became a Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Since this time he has conducted extensively across the UK, Europe, Japan and the USA and has been praised repeatedly for his effortless authority on the podium, his drive and command of the orchestra and his incisive, heart-felt and evocative interpretations. In January 2017, in recognition of the excellent rapport he has built with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra over recent seasons, he was announced as their new Principal Guest Conductor from the 17/18 season, one of the youngest conductors to have held a titled position with a BBC orchestra.
Alongside his work with the BBC Philharmonic, Gernon works regularly with most of the UK orchestras, including the Philharmonia, City of Birmingham Symphony, BBC Scottish, Royal Scottish National Orchestra amongst others, most of whom he returns to in 16/17. He has conducted two BBC Proms, one in 2012 in a composer portrait of Tansy Davies and in 2014 on the occasion of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s 80th birthday with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Highlights of his 16/17 season in Europe include his debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony and Stuttgart Staatstheater orchestras and he looks forward to further important debuts in 17/18.
In the US, Gernon made two major US debuts last summer: at the Hollywood Bowl with the LAPO and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival, with a rich and varied programme of Britten, Debussy and Stravinsky. Following his debut with Milwaukee Symphony in 15/16 he also makes an immediate return there in 16/17. Further afield Gernon has conducted the National Philhamonic of Russia and the New Japan and Nagoya Philharmonic orchestras.
A keen opera conductor, Gernon made his debut in 16/17 with Glyndebourne Touring Opera conducting Don Giovanni and in Spring 2017 looks forward to his debut at Stuttgart Opera conducting The Marriage of Figaro. Previous productions have included a specially-crafted arrangement of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the Young Singers Academy at the Salzburg Festival and further ahead he looks forward to conducting The Magic Flute and Barber of Seville.
Ben Gernon studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Sian Edwards, with whom he still works closely, and with Sir Colin Davis, who was a profoundly influential figure in Gernon’s musical development.
Artsdesk, February 2017
Gernon knows how to give his musicians the freedom to do what they do best.
Birmingham Post, July 2016
The unexpected highlight of the evening came with Barber’s Adagio, Gernon subtly emphasising the bass line and letting the famous melody unfurl like a Bach aria… I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: watch him like a hawk.
Scotsman, September 2015
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and young English conductor Ben Gernon make a brilliant pairing, the ensemble's crisp transparency an ideal match for Gernon's eager, incisive direction.