Leon Botstein brings a renowned career as both a conductor and educator to his role as music director of The Orchestra Now. He has been music director of the American Symphony Orchestra since 1992, artistic codirector of Bard SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival since their creation, and president of Bard College since 1975. He was the music director of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra from 2003–2011, and is now conductor laureate.
Mr. Botstein’s recent engagements include the Royal Philharmonic, Wiesbaden, and UNAM Mexico. He has appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Russian National Orchestra, Taipei Symphony, and the Sinfónica Juvenil de Caracas in Venezuela and Japan, the first non-Venezuelan conductor invited by El Sistema to conduct on a tour. Upcoming engagements include the Aspen Festival and the Magna Grecia Festival in Italy. He can be heard on numerous recordings with the London Symphony (including a Grammy-nominated recording of Popov’s First Symphony), the London Philharmonic, NDR-Hamburg, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, and the American Symphony Orchestra.
For his contributions to music, Mr. Botstein has received the award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Harvard University’s prestigious Centennial Award, as well as the Cross of Honor, First Class from the government of Austria. Other recent awards include the Caroline P. and Charles W. Ireland Prize, the highest award given by the University of Alabama; the Bruckner Society’s Julio Kilenyi Medal of Honor for his interpretations of that composer’s music; the Leonard Bernstein Award for the Elevation of Music in Society; and Carnegie Foundation’s Academic Leadership Award. In 2011 he was inducted into the American Philosophical Society.