Heifetz Baroque Program Director David Stern‘s musical leadership is spread across three continents. Whether conducting a major symphony orchestra, baroque opera, teaching vocal master classes or defending cultural activities, Stern keeps his musicians, students and audiences riveted by sharing his strong musical convictions, his flexibility of approach and his belief that music is relevant and indeed essential in today’s world. He is the founder and director of the Paris-based opera studio and period-instrument ensemble Opera Fuoco, as well as artistic adviser and chief conductor of the Shanghai Baroque Festival and chief conductor of the Palm Beach Opera in Florida. Last year, Mr. Stern made his debut at the Heifetz Institute, conducting a thrilling centennial-anniversary performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade, a piece long associated with his father, violinist Isaac Stern.
David Stern is known for his extensive range of repertoire. As music director of the Israel and the St. Gallen Opera houses, he championed eclectic works such as Simone Mayr’s Medea, Berg’s Wozzeck, Britten’s Turn of the Screw and Kurt Weill’s Rise And Fall of the City of Mahagonny.
With Opera Fuoco he has recently recorded Berenice che fai, a compilation of late Baroque and early Classical works with three members of Opera Fuoco’s studio singera. Previous recordings with Opera Fuoco include The Romantic Cantatas with Karine Deshayes, Johann Christian Bach’s opera Zanaida, and two Handel oratorios, Semele and Jephtha.
Since launching the Aix-en-Provence Festival’s Académie Internationale d’Art Lyrique with Stephane Lissner in 1998, David Stern has been committed to developing young voices. He created Opera Fuoco in 2003 as a platform for young professional singers in France, combining both an young artists program, a period-instrument orchestra and a company which produces concertante and staged projects nationally and internationally. In 2016, he conducted Mozart’s Magic Flute at the Juilliard School in New York, and since 2014, as artistic director of the Shanghai Baroque Festival, Stern has included singers from the Shanghai Conservatory in performances and master classes at the Shanghai Symphony Hall. He works regularly with the singers of the Benenson Young Artists Program in Palm Beach.
David Stern has enjoyed collaborations with international stage directors including David Alden, Stéphane Braunschweig, Robin Guarino, Sam Helfrich, Waut Koeken, Jakob Peters-Messer and Aron Stiehl, among many others. With Yoshi Oïda he created iconic settings of Britten’s Curlew River and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and with Francisco Negrin he led performances of Mozart’s Mitridate as artist in residence at the 2014 Drottningholm Opera Festival. The productions of Telemann’s Damon at the Magdeburg Theater in 2016 as well as Telemann’s Richardus in 2018 received great critical acclaim.
David Stern is frequent guest conductor around the globe. He is regularly invited to the Edmonton Opera, the Drottninghom Opera Festival, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Shanghai and Guangzhou Symphonies, the China Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Russian Symphony the Swedish Chamber orchestra and has led recent performances with the Boston Lyric Opera, the Royal Danish Opera orchestra, and the Vienna Symphony.
David Stern received his Bachelor of Arts from Yale College and his Masters of Music from the Juilliard School.