Gary Berkson - Music Director & Conductor
Gary Berkson has been Resident Conductor of the Royal Swedish Ballet and Royal
Swedish Opera as well as Principal Conductor of the Gothenburg opera house "Stora
Teatern" where he was also Artistic Advisor. In addition, he served ten years as Head of
the Opera Division at the Royal Swedish Opera House.
Berkson is a native of west Los Angeles. He began playing the piano at the age of four.
After spending his first year in university studying theoretical mathematics, he switched
to music and completed his undergraduate studies in three years. He was the first student
at the Claremont Colleges to be awarded a Bachelor's degree in music with conducting
(orchestral and vocal) as a major. After summer studies at the Aspen Music Festival in
Colorado, he studied at the Julliard School of Music in New York, receiving a Masters
degree in conducting. While a student in New York, he was the music director of an
orchestra in Brooklyn Heights.
Berkson is best known for his work as a conductor in the theatre, appearing with
companies such as the Dutch National Ballet, the Nederlands Dans Theater I & II,
Hamburg Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet and Finnish National
Ballet. In the operatic field he has conducted the Greater Miami Opera, Chattanooga
Opera, Royal Swedish Opera, and the Malmo Opera och Musikteater. At international
music festivals in the United States, Germany, Bulgaria, and Norway he has conducted
operas and ballets ranging from traditional to contemporary as well as musicals and
Berkson is no stranger to symphony orchestras. He has conducted the Royal Stockholm
Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Royal Swedish Court
Orchestra, Sophia Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfonica de Bilbao, Stavanger Symphony
Orchestra, Holland Symfonia, Helsingborg Symphony, Malmo Symphony Orchestra,
National Arts Center Orchestra of Canada, Evansville Philharmonic, Chattanooga
Symphony Orchestra and the San Antonio Symphony.
Mr. Berkson has had the honor of conducting for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of
Great Britain, King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Queen Beatrix of the
Netherlands as well as the Presidents and Prime Ministers of many European countries.
Gary Berkson was featured as one of the hundred alumni to be featured in "Dance,
Drama, Music: 100 Years of the Julliard School" published in celebration of its
Peninsula Symphony Association 916 Silver Spur Road #303 Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274
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Bruce Erickson Web Master