I consider Gerald to be a very fine musician, which makes him a great enrichment to the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Besides his contribution to the orchestra, Mr. Karni has proven to be a very talented young conductor in recent events that I have seen, with a great career ahead.
Award-winning conductor Gerald Karni is the recipient of the 2023 Georg Solti Career Assistance Award and Silver Medal at the Third International Antál Dorati Conducting Competition in Budapest. He has worked with the Orchestra Svizzera Italiana, the Lucerne Symphony, the Sønderjyllands Symfoniorkester, and the Verbier Festival & Chamber Orchestras, among others.
Born into a musical family, Gerald completed his bachelor's degree in Viola Performance at the Zurich University of the Arts in 2019 under the tutelage of Lawrence Power and received his master's degree in Orchestral Conducting at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in 2023, where he studied with Prof. Marc Kissozcy.
Other formative mentors include Alan Gilbert, who engaged Karni as an assistant conductor at the NDR Elbphilharmonie and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, as well as Daniel Barenboim at the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.
Gerald was invited to be a conducting fellow at the Verbier Festival in 2022 and had the honor of assisting Sir Simon Rattle, Gábor Takács-Nagy, and Gianandrea Noseda. He continued his fellowship in 2023, where he assisted Klaus Mäkelä, James Gaffigan, and Mikhail Pletnev. Highlights from the 22/23 seasons included conducting Hamburger Camerata at the Elbphilharmonie and Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde” as part of the Mozartfest Augsburg and Traunsteiner Sommerkonzerte in Germany working with musicians such as Maximilian Hornung and Vilde Frang.
Gerald initiated a project called “Side-by-Side” in 2022 which combined members of the Tonhalle Orchestra and Zurich Opera in open readings with university students. The project aimed to strengthen the musical community in Zurich and give students an opportunity to sit with professionals, a tradition he hopes others will continue in the coming years.
Gerald resides in Berlin.