Bernstein Named to Symphony Post
Jeffrey Bernstein, choral director and adjunct assistant professor of music at Occidental College, has been named assistant conductor of the Pasadena Symphony.
His duties begin with the first rehearsal of the 2005-06 season in October.
Bernstein will serve as assistant to conductor Jorge Mester, acting as an understudy and filling in when Mester is unable to perform. “This means I’ll spend a lot of time studying scores,” Bernstein said. “I’ll also serve as a second pair of ears during rehearsals, letting Jorge and the players know how the music sounds from where the audience sits.”
Bernstein is no stranger to the Pasadena Symphony. In December, Occidental’s combined choirs sang Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” under Mester, and in February the Occidental Chorale sang Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” with the orchestra. In April, Bernstein was assistant conductor for one concert.
The new role will not affect Bernstein’s teaching, advising and conducting at Occidental. He said the opportunity will improve his teaching skills.
“Studying scores is for a conductor what reading is for a teacher of literature,” he said. “As assistant conductor I’ll have the opportunity to study and master more than 30 of the greatest works in music. Jorge Mester is a fantastic conductor, an artist of consummate skill, élan and charm. Conductors learn from each other by watching rehearsals and performances, and there is much to take from Maestro Mester’s work. The repertoire knowledge and insights about conducting I gain will have a great impact upon my conducting and teaching here at Oxy.”
Bernstein, a 38-year-old Eagle Rock resident, started at Occidental in 1997. His professional duties started in 1993, when he was associate conductor of the national tour of “Cats.”