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Brazilian-born Marcelo Lehninger is recognized as one of the most gifted conductors of his generation. Music director of the New West Symphony Orchestra in Los Angeles, his growing reputation as a dynamic conductor inspires musicians and audiences of all ages worldwide/ He was awarded the Helen M. Thompson Award for Emerging Music Director in 2014 by the League of American Orchestras.
Lehninger has been associate conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since September 2013, having previously served as assistant conductor for two seasons. Appointed by James Levine, he is the second Brazilian conductor to hold this position; the first was Eleazar de Carvalho, who shared the duties with Leonard Bernstein.
Lehninger made his BSO debut in 2010 with the violinist Pinchas Zukerman as soloist, and in 2011 he stepped in for Maestro Levine on very short notice to conduct the world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle's Violin Concerto and Bartok’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with Christian Tetzlaff as soloist. In 2012, Lehninger filled in for Andris Nelsons, conducting a program that included the American premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage's Trumpet Concerto “From the Wreckage” with Håkan Hardenberger as soloist as well as Strauss’ Thus Spake Zarathustra. He also successfully conducted a program, without any rehearsals, that included Stravinsky’s Piano and Winds Concerto with Peter Serkin and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. Maestro Lehninger's other BSO appearances include his Tanglewood debut in the summer of 2012 with pianist Nelson Freire and a subscription week in 2012 with violinist Joshua Bell.
The 2014/15 season includes Lehninger’s debut with the Detroit, Milwaukee and Grand Rapids symphonies and Rochester Philharmonic and return engagements with The Florida Orchestra and Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. In Europe, he appears with the Lucerne Symphony, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and Slovenian Philharmonic. He appears on subscription with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and assists Mariss Jansons on tour with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
As a guest conductor in the United States, Lehninger has led the Chicago, Houston, Baltimore, Seattle, National, Jacksonville, New Jersey, Omaha, Hartford, Fairfax, and Simon Bolivar symphony orchestras, as well as the Florida and Louisville orchestras, Boston Symphony Chamber Players, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, New England Conservatory Philharmonia and Bard College Conservatory Orchestra. In Canada, Lehninger has appeared with the Toronto Symphony and Calgary and Hamilton philharmonics. His debut with the Deutsche Symphonieorchester Berlin was lauded by players and audience members alike. In 2013, Lehninger recorded the work of composer Christopher Culpo for Radio France in Paris, conducting the Orchestre National de France.
An alumnus of the National Conducting Institute, he made a successful debut with the National Symphony Orchestra in 2007 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and was invited to conduct the NSO again in 2008.
Lehninger was music advisor of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas for the 2007/08 season. Placido Domingo serves as artistic advisor for the ensemble, which is composed of 120 talented musicians from more than twenty countries throughout the Americas. In summer of 2008, Maestro Lehninger toured with YOA and pianist Nelson Freire in South America, conducting concerts in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. He has led all of the top orchestras in Brazil as well as regular guest conducting in Argentina, and previously served as associate conductor of the Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra in Brazil.
Chosen by Kurt Masur, in 2008, Lehninger was awarded the First Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship sponsored by the American Friends of the Mendelssohn Foundation. He was Maestro Masur’s assistant with the Orchestre National de France (during their residency at the Musikverein in Vienna), Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig and the New York Philharmonic. In 2011, he participated in the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, organized by the League of American Orchestras, conducting the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.
Before dedicating his career to conducting, Lehninger studied violin and piano. He holds a master's degree from the Conductors Institute at New York's Bard College, where he studied conducting under Harold Farberman and composition with Laurence Wallach. His mentors also include Kurt Masur, Leonard Slatkin and Roberto Tibiriçá.
A dual citizen of Brazil and Germany, Marcelo Goulart Lehninger is the son of pianist Sônia Goulart and violinist Erich Lehninger. Marcelo, his wife Laura and daughter Sofia divide their time between Boston and Los Angeles.
For more information on Maestro Lehninger, please visit www.marcelolehninger.com.