Noted for his keen musical intelligence, imaginative programming and unmistakable charisma, Ken-David Masur is in his fourth season as Music Director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
In the 2022/2023 season, Masur’s Milwaukee Symphony programming explores the natural world and its relationship to humanity. He conducts major works including Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, and continues the second year of an MSO artistic partnership with pianist Aaron Diehl. As Principal Conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the academy orchestra of the Chicago Symphony, Masur leads concerts in Orchestra Hall and programs throughout Chicago including an annual Bach Marathon.
In 21/22, Masur made debuts with the San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra,
Baltimore Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic and Kristiansand Symphony. Following the gala opening of Milwaukee’s newly restored Bradley Symphony Center, which was telecast
nationally over PBS, highlights of the MSO season included an original staged production of Peer Gynt in partnership with director Bill Barclay. In the summer of 2022, Masur debuted at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and he returned to Tanglewood to lead the Boston Symphony, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Branford Marsalis, and James Taylor in a 90th birthday celebration of John Williams.
Masur has conducted distinguished orchestras around the world, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago and Detroit Symphonies, l’Orchestre National de France, and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony in Tokyo. He has also made regular appearances at Ravinia, Tanglewood, the Hollywood Bowl, and at international festivals such as Verbier.
Previously, Masur was Associate Conductor of the Boston Symphony, where he led numerous concerts at Symphony Hall and at Tanglewood. He has served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Munich Symphony, and was also Associate Conductor of the San Diego Symphony and Resident Conductor of the San Antonio Symphony.
Masur is passionate about contemporary music and has conducted and commissioned dozens of new works, many of which have premiered at the Chelsea Music Festival, an annual summer music festival in New York City founded and directed by Masur and his wife, pianist Melinda Lee Masur, which is frequently featured among the New York Times’ best classical picks of the season.
Hailed as “fearless, bold, and a life-force” (San Diego Union-Tribune) and “a brilliant and commanding conductor with unmistakable charisma” (Leipzig Volkszeitung), Ken-David Masur is the Music Director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
In the 2022/2023 season, Masur leads a range of detailed programs with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, where his programming throughout the season explores the natural world and its relationship to humanity. He also continues the second year of an MSO artistic partnership with pianist Aaron Diehl, and leads choral and symphonic works including Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. As Principal Conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Masur leads concerts throughout the season, including an annual Bach Marathon. Other engagements include subscription weeks with the Nashville and Omaha Symphony Orchestras, and a return to Poland’s Wroclaw Philharmonic.
In 21/22, Masur made debuts with the San Francisco Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and led performances with the Rochester Philharmonic and the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra. Following the gala opening of the Bradley Symphony Center, highlights of the MSO season included a semi-staged production of Peer Gynt. In the summer of 2022, Masur debuted at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, leading three programs with the Festival Orchestra, including members of the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, and another concert with the Sapporo Symphony. He debuted at Classical Tahoe in three programs that were broadcast on PBS; and led the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Branford Marsalis, and James Taylor at Tanglewood in a celebration of the composer John Williams.
Masur has conducted distinguished orchestras around the world, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago and Detroit Symphonies, l’Orchestre National de France, the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony in Tokyo, the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the National Philharmonic of Russia, and orchestras throughout the United States, France, Germany, Korea, Japan, and Scandinavia. In addition to regular appearances at Ravinia, Tanglewood and the Hollywood Bowl, Masur has conducted internationally at festivals such as the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Festival of Colmar in France, Denis Matsuev’s White Lilac Festival in Russia, the Tongyeong Festival in South Korea and the TV Asahi Festival in Tokyo, Japan.
Previously, Masur was Associate Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where he led numerous concerts, at Symphony Hall and at Tanglewood, of new and standard works featuring guest artists such as Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Emanuel Ax, Garrick Ohlsson, Joshua Bell, Louis Lortie, Kirill Gerstein, Nikolaj Lugansky, and more. For eight years, Masur served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Munich Symphony, and has also served as Associate Conductor of the San Diego Symphony and as Resident Conductor of the San Antonio Symphony.
Masur is passionate about the growth, encouragement and application of contemporary music and has conducted and commissioned dozens of new works, many of which have premiered at the Chelsea Music Festival, an annual summer music festival in New York City founded and directed by Masur and his wife, pianist Melinda Lee Masur. The Festival seeks to engage curious audiences with its ground-breaking collaborations between the performing, visual and culinary arts, and has been praised by The New York Times as a “gem of a series.”
Music education and working with the next generation of young artists are of major importance to Masur. In addition to his work with the young musicians of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, he has led orchestras and masterclasses at the New England Conservatory, Boston University, Boston Conservatory, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra and at leading universities and conservatories throughout the world.
Ken-David Masur has recently made recordings with the English Chamber Orchestra and violinist Fanny Clamagirand, and with the Stavanger Symphony. As founding Music Director of the Bach Society Orchestra and Chorus at Columbia University, he toured Germany and released a critically acclaimed album of symphonies and cantatas by W.F. Bach, C.P.E. Bach and J.S. Bach. WQXR named Masur’s recording with the Stavanger Symphony of Gisle Kverndokk’s Symphonic Dances one of “The Best New Classical Releases of July 2018”. Masur received a Grammy nomination from the Latin Recording Academy in the category Best Classical Album of the Year for his work as a producer of the album Salon Buenos Aires.
“A brilliant and commanding conductor with unmistakable charisma.”
"...he knows how to pull out the stops and damn the torpedoes at appropriate times."
“There was no denying the life-force in Masur’s interpretation.”
"Ken-David Masur milked every ounce of romantic grandeur from the sweeping string lines and signaled each assertive articulation from the brass."
- The Minnesota Orchestra celebrates the 2020 Olympics
- Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" with the Boston Symphony Orchestra
- The Moment of First Encounter: Masur & the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
- PEER GYNT adapted by Bill Barclay for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Ken-David Masur
- Ken-David Masur conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra
- Symphony Hall Series
- New Tanglewood Tales: Life On Stage and Off
- Boston University College of Fine Arts presents Beethoven's "Symphony No. 9," and Arnold Schoenberg's "Friede auf Erden"
- Masur leads the National Philharmonic of Russia at the Festival International de Colmar, in France.
- Milwaukee PBS "American Dream" Interview
- Milwaukee PBS: American Dream Segment
- Ken-David Masur Triumphs in Milwaukee Symphony Water Festival
- Ken-David Masur Leads Boston Symphony
- John Williams will help Milwaukee Symphony open its new concert hall next season
- Ken-David Masur steps in for Gustavo Dudamel at the Boston Symphony Orchestra
- Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Names Ken-David Masur as Music Director