Grant Gershon is hailed for his adventurous and bold artistic leadership and for eliciting technically precise and expressive performances from musicians. The 2019/20 season will mark his 19th season as the Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale. The Los Angeles Times has said the Master Chorale "has become the most exciting chorus in the country under Grant Gershon,” a reflection on both his programming and performances.
During his tenure Gershon has led more than 200 Master Chorale performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall in programs encompassing choral music from the earliest writings and pillars of the repertoire through to contemporary compositions. He has led world premiere performances of major works by John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, David Lang, Louis Andriessen, Christopher Rouse, Steve Reich, Morten Lauridsen, Ricky Ian Gordon, Gabriela Lena Frank, Shawn Kirchner, Ellen Reid, and Chinary Ung, among many others.
During the Master Chorale’s 2019/20 season, Gershon will lead performances of Bruckner's Mass No. 3 in F Minor and Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil; Oceana by Osvaldo Golijov; and music by Morten Lauridsen. He will lead the world premiere of a new soundtrack by Emmy Award winner Jeff Beal (House of Cards) to the classic 1927 film Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans; new music by Gabriel Kahane and Derrick Spiva; the West Coast premiere of The Faire Starre by Nico Muhly, a Los Angeles Master Chorale co-commission with VocalEssence and Trinity Church Wall Street; and music by Caroline Shaw, Dale Trumbore, Nilo Alcala, Shawn Kirchner, and Diana Syrse.
In July 2019, Gershon and the Master Chorale open the Salzburg Festival with their acclaimed Peter Sellars-directed production of Lagrime di San Pietro, which they've also toured around the world and throughout the United States. Of undertaking this production, Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times noted: “… when someone says, “don’t,” that has more than once told artistic director Grant Gershon what the Los Angeles Master Chorale should do.” He concluded his review stating that: “Lagrime is a major accomplishment for the Master Chorale, which sang and acted brilliantly. It is also a major accomplishment for music history.”
Gershon is the Resident Conductor of LA Opera and conducted the West Coast premiere of Philip Glass’ Satyagraha in November 2018. He made his acclaimed debut with the company with La Traviata in 2009 and has subsequently conducted Il Postino,Madame Butterfly, Carmen, Florencia en el Amazonas, Wonderful Town, The Tales of Hoffmann, and The Pearl Fishers. In 2017 he made his San Francisco Opera debut conducting the world premiere of John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West directed by Peter Sellars, who also wrote the libretto. He made his Dutch National Opera debut conducting the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in performances of Girls of the Golden West in March 2019. Gershon and Adams have an enduring friendship and professional relationship which began 27 years ago in Los Angeles when Gershon played keyboards in the pit for Nixon in China at LA Opera. Since then, Gershon has led the world premiere performances of Adams’ theater piece I Was Looking At The Ceiling And Then I Saw The Sky, premiered his two-piano piece Hallelujah Junction (with Gloria Cheng), and has conducted performances of Harmonium, The Gospel According to the Other Mary, El Niño, The Chairman Dances, and choruses from The Death of Klinghoffer.
In New York, Gershon has appeared at Carnegie Hall and at the historic Trinity Wall Street, as well as on the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center and the Making Music series at Zankel Hall. Other major appearances include performances at the Ravinia, Aspen, Edinburgh, Helsinki, Salzburg and Vienna Festivals, the South American premiere of the LA Opera’s production of Il Postino in Chile, and with the Baltimore Symphony and the Coro e Orchestra Del Teatro Regio Di Torino in Turin, Italy. He has worked closely with numerous conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, James Conlon, Gustavo Dudamel, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Simon Rattle, and his mentor, Esa-Pekka Salonen.
His discography includes two Grammy Award-nominated recordings: SweeneyTodd (New York Philharmonic Special Editions) and Ligeti’s GrandMacabre (Sony Classical); six commercial CDs with the Master Chorale: Glass-Salonen (RCM), You Are (Variations) (Nonesuch), Daniel Variations (Nonesuch), A Good Understanding (Decca), Miserere (Decca), and the national anthems (Cantaloupe Music); and two live performance albums, the Master Chorale’s 50th Season Celebration recording and Festival of Carols, the choir’s first holiday album in nearly 20 years. He has also led the Master Chorale in performances for several major motion pictures soundtracks including Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the request of composer John Williams.
Mr. Gershon was named Outstanding Alumnus of the Thornton School of Music in 2002 and received the USC Alumni Merit Award in 2017. He is a member of the Board of Councilors for the Thornton School and the Board of Directors of Chorus America.