Julien Benichou

Julien Benichou

Guest conductor from France

Conductor Julien Benichou currently serves as Music Director of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Director at Towson University, Artistic Director of the McDaniel Orchestra Academy, as well as Principal Conductor for the Towson New Music Ensemble. He is also Orchestra Director at Montclair State University for the 2015-2016 season. As guest conductor, Mr. Benichou has led the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and Mobtown Modern new music concerts in Baltimore, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Mobtown Modern Synchronicity collaboration.

Recent engagements include fully-staged performances of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with the Morgan State University Choir and Opera Workshop in Baltimore, which received critical acclaim. In 2012 he conducted the Orquestra Sinfonica do Parana in Curitiba, Brazil, and in 2013 the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2014 he took a professional chamber orchestra to Yaoundé, Cameroon, where he conducted a concert blending Western and African music in the presence of this country’s Minister of Culture, setting up the first-ever collaboration between pygmy musicians and an orchestra.

A native of France, Mr. Benichou studied conducting and composition at the Marseille conservatory. He further studied conducting at the Rueil Malmaison conservatory, as well as harmony, counterpoint and musical analysis at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. The recipient of the Prix de la SACEM in Musical Analysis, Julien Benichou also completed a graduate performance diploma at Peabody Conservatory, earned a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University, and did further graduate studies at Yale University. He has participated in master classes with such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Yuri Temirkanov, Marin Alsop, Michael Tilson Thomas and JoAnn Falletta.

A passionate music educator, Mr. Benichou has taken the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra on three European tours, most recently to St. Petersburg, Russia where he led a side-by-side concert with the St. Petersburg Symphony. He recently worked with Maestro Louis Lavigueur on collaborations with the Orchestre symphonique des jeunes de Montréal, and has been a guest conductor for several honors orchestras in Maryland and California.

Also a composer, Julien Benichou has a special interest in new music and has led commissions, premieres and a recording on the Centaur Records label. Also an opera and ballet conductor, Mr. Benichou has worked with the Ballet Theater of Maryland, the Morgan State University Choir and Opera Workshop, as well as the Baltimore Concert Opera.