Reuben Stern

Interim Orchestra Conductor

Personal connection, identities, and the human capacity for empathy guide the music-making of Boston-based conductor Reuben Stern. They are the founder and music director of the Boston Orchestra Book Club, a volunteer ensemble dedicated to breaking down barriers to entry in orchestral music for players, composers, and audience members alike. Reuben also serves as assistant conductor for the Apollo Ensemble, conductor of the Harvard Medical School Chamber Music Society, and has cover conducted for the Eureka Ensemble and Longwood Symphony Orchestra. They recently guest conducted the American Modern Ensemble and Mostly Modern Orchestra in four world premieres.

Passionate about youth music education, Reuben frequently rehearses students in the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras and served for a year as cover conductor for the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Reuben completed their graduate work at the Peabody Institute under the tutelage of Marin Alsop and Joseph Young, and their undergraduate work at Harvard University, where they studied conducting with Federico Cortese; other important mentors include Aram Demirjian and Lina Gonzalez-Granados. Reuben was the second person ever to hold a three-year tenure as music director of Harvard’s famed Bach Society Orchestra. They were also student conductor for the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra from 2017 to 2019.

Reuben is fiercely committed to improving representation in classical music, in terms of gender, race, religion, social status, and mental or physical ability. In particular, they are an outspoken champion of mental illness de-stigmatization and gender diversity. A staunch advocate for the music of Grażyna Bacewicz, Reuben is engaged in a broad-reaching project to revive much of the Polish composer’s lesser-known music. As part of this project, in collaboration with the Polish Cultural Institute New York and Schott Music, they led the North American premiere of Bacewicz’ Symphony for String Orchestra, to much acclaim.

As a bassoonist, Reuben has performed internationally with the National Youth Orchestra of the USA, under the direction of David Robertson, Christoph Eschenbach, and others.

Reuben holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Harvard University. As a mathematician, they are interested in homotopical structures in topology and geometry.

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