Kensho Watanabe, from Greenwich, Conn., received a diploma in 2013 from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with distinguished conducting pedagogue Otto-Werner Mueller. He returned to Curtis in the fall of 2013 as the school’s inaugural Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow, under the mentorship of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
This fall, Mr. Watanabe will be making his debut with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, in addition to conducting performances of Tchaikovsky's Iolanta in Philadelphia with the Curtis Opera Theatre. He will also return to the Eastern Connecticut Symphony to lead performances of The Nutcracker in December.
Mr. Watanabe previously served as the assistant conductor of the Yale Symphony Orchestra under Toshiyuki Shimada, leading the YSO in concerts at Woolsey Hall and Battell Chapel. He has also served as a conducting fellow at the Castleton Festival under the late Lorin Maazel. He has participated in masterclasses with conductors including David Amado, Giancarlo Guerrero, Michael Jinbo, Colin Metters, and Robert Spano.
Mr. Watanabe received his BS in Biology from Yale College and a MM in Violin from the Yale School of Music. He performs regularly with the Philadelphia Orchestra as a substitute violinist, and spends his summers at the Greenwood Music Camp, where he serves as Orchestra Conductor.