Askonas Holt is thrilled to welcome Kensho Watanabe to our conductor roster for worldwide representation. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with the distinguished conducting pedagogue, Otto-Werner Mueller, Kensho recently came to international attention by stepping in last minute for his mentor, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, to conduct The Philadelphia Orchestra with pianist, Daniil Trifonov to great critical acclaim.
Now in his second season as Assistant Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra, Kensho has recently conducted concerts with the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal and San Diego Symphony, plus a highly successful production of Puccini’s la Rondine at the Curtis Institute.
An accomplished violinist, Kensho received his Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music and served as a substitute violinist in The Philadelphia Orchestra from 2012 to 2016. Additionally he holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Yale College, where he studied
molecular, cellular, and developmental biology.
In a recent interview with Nina Large, Kensho spoke about his relationship with Yannick and The Philadelphia Orchestra, upcoming engagements, and how a person’s character influences their music:
“In terms of being a conductor, and this goes for all positions of leadership, you can study all the hours, know your technique and be ready, but ultimately you are sharing yourself. If I don’t better myself then I am severely sabotaging my ability to make music with others. It’s something that I think about a lot, constantly.
I’ve just been teaching at a chamber music camp, the amount of listening and reacting they have to learn, doing things that’s not quite what they thought, adjusting to what is happening and to another person, these are skills which go beyond music. They are about how to be a better citizen of the world, which is pretty important these days.
I do feel that becoming a conductor has made me a better person, in terms of my overall confidence in myself and also how I communicate with others, all of these are lessons which I have learnt through music which have made me a stronger person. There is a lot to look forward to!”
Read the full interview here
Kensho will be managed at Askonas Holt by Terry Shew and Tanja Schnitzer.
Photo © Andrew Bogard