“The National Symphony Orchestra shone under conductor, Ankush Kumar Bahl, whose crisp tempi and authority left one wanting to hear more of him.”
“By Saturday the orchestra had become as fine a Mendelssohn vehicle as any young conductor could want, and most handled it capably, though without carrying it to great heights of inspiration. One who did seem to inspire it was Ankush Kumar Bahl, in the finale of the “Reformation” Symphony. Mr. Bahl was also one of the few who, in the earlier sessions, took the lead in rehearsing the orchestra in detail rather than simply waiting for Mr. Masur to interrupt and take matters into his own hands… the “Reformation” Symphony was a great success.”
Currently in his third season as Music Director ofthe Omaha Symphony, Ankush Kumar Bahl has delivered resonant performances ofmasterworks (new and old), and continues to champion American composers andartists while pursuing innovative, community-based concert design. Committed toexpanding the American repertoire, the Omaha symphony and Maestro Bahl havecommissioned five new works in their first three seasons together by a numberof composers including Andy Akiho and Stacy Garrop. In fact, their recording ofthe Akiho has garnered the Omaha Symphony its first three Grammy nominations inthe over 100 year history of the orchestra. On the podium, Bahl is recognizedby orchestras and audiences alike for his impressive conducting technique,thoughtful interpretations, innovative concert experiences, and engagingpresence. In concert, he has left the WashingtonPost “wanting to hear more” and has been praised by the NewYork Times for his “clearauthority and enthusiasm” and “ability to inspire.”
Highlights of previous classical series guestengagements include performances with the New York Philharmonic, DetroitSymphony, Houston Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, FloridaOrchestra, Phoenix Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre Nationalde France, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, Richmond Symphony, VirginiaSymphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, and the National Symphony Orchestra(Washington, D.C.). Summer festival appearances engagements include theCopenhagen Philharmonic at Tivoli, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, WintergreenSummer Music Festival, Chautauqua Institute, Wolf Trap with the NSO, and theBrevard Music Center. An experienced collaborator, Bahl has worked with manyprominent soloists, among them Daniil Trifonov,Lang Lang, Emanuel Ax, Sarah Chang, Lara St. John, Karen Gomyo, Stella Chen,Aaron Diehl, Bhezod Abduraimov, Benjamin Grosvenor, Orion Weiss, Conrad Tao,Charlie Albright, Anthony McGill, Kelley O'Connor, Philadelphia OrchestraConcertmaster David Kim, and Vesko Eschkenazy, concertmaster of the RoyalConcertgebouw Orchestra.
Bahl is a proud recipient of four separate SoltiFoundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards between 2011 and 2016 and the 2009Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship. A protégé of former New YorkPhilharmonic Music Director Kurt Masur, he served as his assistant conductor atthe Orchestre National de France, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and LeipzigGewandhaus Orchestra. From 2011 to 2015, he was assistant conductor of theNational Symphony Orchestra under Christoph Eschenbach, leading a variety ofconcerts with the orchestra in over 100 performances. Bahl has been fortunateto also count Maestros Jaap van Zweden, Zdenek Macal, David Zinman, andGianandrea Noseda among his mentors.
American born and of Indian descent, Ankush Kumar Bahl is a native ofthe San Francisco Bay Area and received a double degree in music and rhetoricfrom the University of California at Berkeley. He was a conducting fellow atthe Aspen Music Festival with David Zinman and completed his master’s degree inOrchestral Conducting at the Manhattan School of Music with Zdenek Macal, DavidGilbert, and George Manahan. Prior to his passing, Bahl was a frequentcollaborator with jazz legend Wayne Shorter, conducting his quartet withorchestra in concerts at the Kennedy Center and Detroit Free Jazz Festival.