Conductor Jason Weinberger stands out among musicians of his generation for his passionate commitment to the entire life of his art form. Known for a wholly contemporary approach to programming, presentation, and performance, Jason is also a tireless advocate for music among audiences of all backgrounds and an emerging orchestra executive and entrepreneur.
Jason currently leads Iowa’s pioneering ensemble wcfsymphony in a dual role as Artistic Director and CEO. Under Jason’s decade of artistic leadership the orchestra has made major strides, performing a wide variety of new and recent American music by up-and-coming composers including Chris Thile, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Timo Andres and Gabriel Kahane and hosting such guest artists as Yo-Yo Ma, David Shifrin, Peter Schickele, Brandi Carlile, Matt Haimovitz and Edgar Meyer. More recently in his first year as CEO of wcfsymphony Jason stabilized the organization’s finances and refocused its agenda as both a community asset and potential industry leader. He is a dynamic proponent of the arts throughout the Cedar Valley and spearheads wcfsymphony’s wide-ranging community engagement initiatives. As likely to be found in an elementary school classroom as onstage or in a boardroom, Jason brings his natural ease with young people to wcfsymphony’s captivating concerts for kids.
Both in and beyond his work with wcfsymphony Jason is dedicated to reinvigorating the symphonic tradition through collaboration with creative voices from outside the orchestra hall. He is the regular conductor for acclaimed singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, with whom he recently appeared at the Seattle Symphony, Oregon Symphony and Nashville Symphony, and has partnered with a host of artists and bands including Gary Kelley, Mochilla and Calexico.
Jason’s singular outlook was formed by both his education and his work with a variety of notable ensembles. He is a native of Los Angeles and began his musical training there on both piano and clarinet, pursuing studies on the latter instrument with Yehuda Gilad at the Colburn School for the Performing Arts. He attended Yale University, first receiving a bachelor’s with academic distinction in intellectual history and then completing a master’s degree in clarinet performance under the tutelage of David Shifrin. After leaving Yale Jason attended the Peabody Conservatory as a master’s student of Gustav Meier and was a recipient of the Graduate Conducting Fellowship and a Peabody Career Grant.
Jason was resident conductor of the Louisville Orchestra for four seasons and was awarded a national Bruno Walter Career Grant for his work there. Jason began his professional career as a cover conductor with the National Symphony Orchestra and performed with the NSO several times in addition to leading the Kennedy Center/National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute. While in the mid-Atlantic region Jason directed the orchestra program at the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he founded an adventurous chamber orchestra and conceived and led a number of new initiatives for engaging and mentoring urban youth in music.
Jason’s blog at jasonweinberger.com is one of Tumblr’s most prominent classical music sites and serves as a platform for his wide-ranging interests including strong advocacy of digital accessibility and openness in the arts. He welcomes comments about his work at his website or via social media.