British conductor Ben Gernon is praised repeatedly for his effortless authority on the podium, his drive and command of the orchestra and his incisive, heart-felt and evocative interpretations. Gernon has already conducted many of the world’s major orchestras including the Czech Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago and BBC Symphony orchestras and he is now working increasingly in the opera house. In 2017 Gernon took up the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the youngest conductors to have held a titled position with a BBC orchestra. In 2018, he conducted them in a televised performance at the BBC Proms and returns with them for two concerts in 2019.
In 2019/20, Gernon was scheduled to make debuts with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic, Hallé, Adelaide Symphony and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, amongst others. He returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse for his third visit in consecutive seasons, as well as several performances in London with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Equally at home in the opera house, Gernon made his debut in 18/19 at English National Opera conducting Simon McBurney’s production of The Magic Flute and returned to Royal Swedish Opera for a new production of Madama Butterfly following his debut the previous season with The Magic Flute. Previous operative productions have included Barber of Seville with Glyndebourne Touring Opera and The Marriage of Figaro at Stuttgart Opera.
Recent highlights have included many significant debuts across the globe with orchestras such as the Vienna Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Munich Chamber, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Swedish Chamber orchestras, as well as regular engagements with most of the UK’s orchestras, including the Philharmonia and City of Birmingham Symphony orchestras, and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the BBC Proms on the occasion of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s 80th Birthday. He has recently made two recordings, with the Czech Philharmonic for Signum Records and with the BBC Scottish Symphony for Hyperion.
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.
The Arts Desk
Ben Gernon has a chemistry with this orchestra that is now remarkable. It’s partly a first-among-equals approach to his role that gives them what they need and simply allows them to play at their best, but it’s also born of mutual respect and his instincts as a musician, which in this case were spot-on.
The discovery of this concert was how impressively young conductor, Ben Gernon, handled not just the evanescent textures of Alasdair Nicolson’s Shadows, but also two less-championed works by Britten and Tchaikovsky.
Gernon is seeing his career take some big steps forward this year. His clear, decisive hand movements guaranteed a keen performance of Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem.