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Gisele Ben-Dor

Gisèle Ben-Dor has won worldwide acclaim as guest conductor with major orchestras and as Music Director of the Santa Barbara Symphony, becoming Conductor Laureate in 2006. Uruguayan by birth and upbringing, she is a particularly persuasive champion of Latin American composers (Ginastera, Revueltas, Villa-Lobos, Piazzolla, Bacalov). Internationally, she has most recently led the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Bern Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, Boston Pro-Arte Chamber Orchestra, and the national orchestras of Brazil, Chile and Costa Rica. She has led the New York Philharmonic, London Symphony, BBC/Wales, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Pops, New World Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Israel Chamber Orchestra, , Houston Symphony and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande among many others. As assistant to Kurt Masur at the New York Philharmonic, she led the orchestra on two last minute calls, including a highly acclaimed program of Mahler and Beethoven, without the benefit of rehearsals. She also led the orchestra in New York’s Central Park before an estimated audience of 100,000 and at the British Festival. Her major performances of Ginastera’s music have included a unanimously acclaimed new production and European première of his last opera, Beatrix Cenci (Grand Théâtre de Genève) and Turbae ad Passionem Gregorianam in Madrid. Upcoming new recordings of Ginastera’s music feature Plácido Domingo (excerpts from his first opera Don Rodrigo); earlier recordings include Ginastera’s complete ballets Estancia and Panambí (Naxos), and The Soul of Tango (world premières by Piazzolla and Bacalov). Elected by the musicians, she is also Conductor Emerita of Boston’s Pro-Arte Chamber Orchestra. Recognized by Leonard Bernstein, they shared the stage at Tanglewood and at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. Winner of the Bartók Prize of Hungarian Television, she made her conducting début with the Israel Philharmonic in Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, televised by the BBC/London throughout Europe. She studied at the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel-Aviv and at the Yale School of Music.

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