Jed Gaylin, Music Director
"Above all, one senses the absolute devotion
with which the orchestra follows him."
—Basler Zeitung, Switzerland
"...a conductor who knows exactly what he wants..."
—Łódź Philharmonic, Poland
"Jed Gaylin's conducting was consistently
impressive, with a propulsive sweep that allowed the lyricism to
—Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun
“Generous” is the word listeners and performers use time and again to describe conductor Jed Gaylin’s approach to the orchestra, the score, and the audience. His unselfconscious spirit and joyful abandon paired with a probing intellect result in cohesive, powerful programs, compelling interpretations, and evenings that are fresh, exuberant, and life-changing. George Szell said, “In music one must think with the heart and feel with the mind,” a maxim Jed Gaylin embodies abundantly and passionately.
Orchestra members throughout the world, soloists, and opera singers often recount with great emotion how Jed Gaylin’s rehearsals and performances elicit their very best, not only individually but collectively. He revels in making connections not only within a piece, but also between seemingly disparate and wide-ranging works to create an evening of surprising, captivating juxtapositions. His dedication to exploring the music’s fullest potential in a collaborative spirit reaches beyond the stage to draw the audience into the creative act. Listeners feel far more than just welcomed by words from the podium—they feel engaged as participants in a wordless musical conversation that is spontaneous, big-hearted, and eloquent.
As Music Director, Jed Gaylin leads both the Bay-Atlantic Symphony and Hopkins Symphony Orchestra with the same creative depth and an open spirit that he brings to the podium. The Bay-Atlantic Symphony, once described as the “sleepy” Bridgeton Symphony, is now not only consistently praised for its astonishing level of artistry and precision, it is also viewed throughout New Jersey as a model for how professional orchestras can become a vital focus and source of identity in their communities. The vigor, eloquence, and passion with which Jed Gaylin performs, speaks, and writes about music has won him an enthralled and devoted audience base over his thirteen-year tenure. As a sought-after creative partner throughout the region, the Bay-Atlantic Symphony has forged residencies with three area colleges, numerous towns, music festivals, and even casinos.
Mr. Gaylin makes his home in Baltimore where he lives with his wife, poet and essayist Lia Purpura, and their son. He has been Music Director of Hopkins Symphony for seventeen years, during which the orchestra has grown in size, prominence, and artistry into one of the country’s most accomplished university orchestras. The high standards of the orchestra and Jed Gaylin’s belief in art’s ability to knit together and ignite new energy in our communities have resulted in collaborations with arts groups throughout the city, as well as with other non-profit and civic organizations. Also in Baltimore, Jed Gaylin is a regular conductor of Opera Vivente, where his interpretations of Mozart, Verdi, Donizetti, and Jonathan Dove have been praised consistently for their nuance, cohesion, and power.
Early in his career, Jed Gaylin was awarded the prestigious Presser Music Award to conduct in Russia. Since then he has forged close relationships with musicians throughout the world and relishes making music in different countries. He is consistently invited for return engagements as a conductor who, in short order, can open up the sound of the orchestra, clarify textures, and deliver a performance that is both true to the essence of the score and full of imagination and subtlety.
Mr. Gaylin has been Principal Guest Conductor of the National Film and Radio Philharmonic (Beijing, China) since 2007. He was Principal Guest Conductor of the Sibiu State Philharmonic (Romania) from 2002-06. He has also led the Saint Petersburg State Symphony, Shanghai Conservatory Orchestra, Xinjiang Philharmonic, Bucharest Radio Orchestra, Academia del Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona, Spain), Lodz Philharmonic and Pomorska Philharmonic (Poland), Gnessin Institute Orchestra and Moscow Chamber Symphony (Russia), Orquesta Sinfonica de Guanajuato (Mexico), Orvieto Festival Orchestra (Italy), Naples Philharmonic (Florida), Nashua Symphony Orchestra (New Hampshire), and Wheeling Symphony (West Virginia). This summer he will again conduct and teach at the Cervera Summer Course and Music Festival in Spain. He has taught master classes and lectured throughout the world including the Shanghai Conservatory and the Peabody Conservatory.
Among Jed Gaylin’s television and radio broadcasts have been National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition airing of the Bay-Atlantic Symphony to more than four million listeners, Voice of America presentations throughout Europe and the former Soviet Union, as well as Bucharest Radio Orchestra, and the National Radio and Film Philharmonic in Beijing. Mr. Gaylin and the Bay-Atlantic Symphony had a full-length concert performed at the Cape May Music Festival broadcast on WWFM in New Jersey and have been aired repeatedly on WYPR in Baltimore.
Two major recording projects will be released in 2011. Mr. Gaylin conducted for a two-album CD played by the Xinjiang Philharmonic in Northwest China. Highlighted are composers from Xinjiang and Shanghai, as well as selections by Beethoven and Handel. He also recorded She Comes to Shore—concerto for improvised piano and orchestra, by pianist/composer Lee Pui Ming (Naxos/Innova). The recording features the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, with the composer at the piano.
Mr. Gaylin earned both a Bachelor of Music in piano and a Master of Music in conducting at the Oberlin Conservatory, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting at the Peabody Conservatory. He attended the Aspen Music Festival as a Conducting Fellow. His conducting teachers have included Frederik Prausnitz, Leonard Slatkin, Jahja Ling, Murry Sidlin, Paul Vermel, and Michel Singher, and, for piano, Lydia Frumkin.
Jed Gaylin makes music with spirit and intellect, soul and rigor, a deep knowledge of world cultures, human nature and the arts – that is, with his whole being. His approach to music, musicians, and life-lived-large, is rare: an old world commitment to study and depth of conception, combined with a welcoming presence and warm engagement –both on and off the podium
March 31, 2011