"Julien Benichou is without doubt, one of the most exciting young conductors on the scene today. He deftly combines his elegant graceful gestures, a wonderful sense of both youthful verve and old world wisdom, with profound sincere musicianship."
Jonathan Carney, Concertmaster Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Conductor Julien Benichou currently serves as Music Director of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra. Previous positions have included Assistant Conductor of the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Skokie (Illinois) Symphony Orchestra and the Columbia (Maryland) Symphony Orchestra. As guest conductor, Mr. Benichou has led the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Mobtown Modern new music concerts in Baltimore, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Mobtown Modern Synchronicity collaboration, and the New Music Ensemble at Towson University.
Before coming to the United States in 1995 for graduate studies with Gustav Meier at the Peabody Conservatory, Mr. Benichou held positions in his native France leading several choral ensembles. Further studies were at the Rueil-Malmaison Conservatory in France where he studied conducting with Jean Sebastien Bereau. He studied harmony and counterpoint at the Schola Cantorum in Paris and was the recipient of several awards.
In addition to receiving a graduate performance diploma from Peabody Conservatory, Julien Benichou earned a master's degree in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University under Victor Yampolsky, and did further graduate studies at Yale University with Lawrence Leighton Smith. Among the conductors with whom he has participated in master classes are Leonard Slatkin, Yuri Temirkanov, Marin Alsop, Michael Tilson Thomas and JoAnn Falletta. At the Hot Springs (Arkansas) Music Festival Mr. Benichou received a fellowship as assistant conductor and the following summer as associate conductor.
Mr. Benichou has a special interest in new music and has led commissions, premieres and a recording on the Centaur label. He has also written and conducted the sound track for a recent film. Also an opera and ballet conductor, Mr. Benichou recently worked with the Ballet Theater of Maryland, the Morgan State University Choir and Opera Workshop, as well as the Baltimore Concert Opera.
Another strong interest is music education. Mr. Benichou has taken the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra on three European tours, most recently to St. Petersburg, Russia where he led a side-by side concert with the St. Petersburg Symphony. In the summer of 2008, he traveled with fifteen music students to the Chaillol Festival in France where he led them in performances of classical and baroque repertoire. He has been a guest conductor for several honors orchestra in Maryland and California.
Recent engagements include fully staged performances of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with the Morgan State University Choir and Opera Workshop in Baltimore, MD which received critical acclaim. This season he conducted the Orquestra Sinfonica do Parana in Curitiba, Brazil and the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra in St. Petersburg, Russia.