Pauline Barrett Artistic Director & Conductor
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 a tireless advocate for music among audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
Jason is currently Artistic Director of Iowa’s pioneering ensemble wcfsymphony, having recently completed four years in a unique dual role combining his musical work with the responsibilities of CEO. Under his 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, Daniel Roumain, and Gabriel Kahane and hosting some of today’s most important musicians including Yo-Yo Ma, David Shifrin, David Krakauer, Peter Schickele, Brandi Carlile, Matt Haimovitz, and Edgar Meyer. Jason is also 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, alongside whom he recently appeared with the Seattle Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Edmonton Symphony and Nashville Symphony, and has partnered with a host of artists and bands including Gary Kelley, Mochilla, PROJECT Trio and Calexico. He is also active as a live film conductor and has given multiple screen-coordinated performances of scores from The Wizard of Oz, Fantasia, and others.
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 through 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, or via the contact form on this website.