Gil Rose is a conductor helping to shape the future of classical music. His dynamic performances and many recordings have garnered international critical praise. In 1996, Mr. Rose founded the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the foremost professional orchestra dedicated exclusively to performing and recording symphonic music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Under his leadership, BMOP’s unique programming and high performance standards have attracted critical acclaim. As a guest conductor on both the opera and symphonic platforms, he made his Tanglewood debut in 2002 and in 2003 debuted with the Netherlands Radio Symphony at the Holland Festival. He has led the American Composers Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, and the National Orchestra of Porto and made his Japanese debut in 2015 substituting for Seiji Ozawa at the Matsumoto Festival conducting Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict.

Over the past decade, Mr. Rose has also built a reputation as one of the country’s most inventive and versatile opera conductors. He recently announced the formation of Odyssey Opera, an inventive company dedicated to presenting eclectic operatic repertoire in a variety of formats. The company debuted in September 2013 to critical acclaim with a 6-hour concert production of Wagner’s Rienzi. Subsequent presentations have included concert performances of Korngold’s Die tote Stadt and Massenet’s Le Cid, along with two critically acclaimed Spring Festivals of staged opera. Prior to founding Odyssey Opera he led Opera Boston as its Music Director starting in 2003, and in 2010 was appointed the company’s first Artistic Director. Mr. Rose led Opera Boston in several American and New England premieres including Shostakovich’s The Nose, Donizetti’s Maria Padilla, Hindemith’s Cardillac, and Peter Eötvös’s Angels in America. In 2009, Mr. Rose led the world premiere of Zhou Long’s Madame White Snake, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2011.

Mr. Rose and BMOP recently partnered with the American Repertory Theater, Chicago Opera Theater, and the MIT Media Lab to create the world premiere of composer Tod Machover’s Death and the Powers (a runner-up for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music). He conducted this seminal multimedia work at its world premiere at the Opera Garnier in Monte Carlo, Monaco, in September 2010, and also led its United States premiere in Boston and a subsequent performance at Chicago Opera Theater.

An active recording artist, Gil Rose serves as the executive producer of the BMOP/sound recording label. His extensive discography includes world premiere recordings of music by John Cage, Lukas Foss, Charles Fussell, Michael Gandolfi, Tod Machover, Steven Mackey, Evan Ziporyn, and many others on such labels as Albany, Arsis, Chandos, ECM, Naxos, New World, and BMOP/sound.

He has led the longstanding Monadnock Music Festival in historic Peterborough, NH, since his appointment as Artistic Director in 2012, conducting several premieres and making his opera stage directing debut in two revivals of operas by Dominick Argento, as well as conducting, directing and producing the world premier recording of Ned Rorem’s opera Our Town.

He has curated the Fromm Concerts at Harvard three times and served as the first curator of the Ditson Festival of Music at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art. As an educator Mr. Rose served five years as director of Orchestral Activities at Tufts University and in 2012 he joined the faculty of Northeastern University as Artist-in-Residence and Professor of Practice.

In 2007, Mr. Rose was awarded Columbia University’s prestigious Ditson Award as well as an ASCAP Concert Music Award for his exemplary commitment to new American music. He is a three-time Grammy Award nominee.

News and Press

[News Coverage] The Boston Modern Orchestra Project Fought Bloat — and Won

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BOSTON — Cast your eye over the orchestral landscape, and the big picture could be seen as one of institutional malaise: deficits, labor strife, cowardly programming. All of which makes it imperative to celebrate those ensembles that, through luck, skill and diligence, pull off what the symphonic behemoths too rarely achieve: diverse repertoire and financial equilibrium.

The New York Times Full review
[News Coverage] BMOP's World: Guts, Garlands, Gauntlets

A few months ago, Gil Rose, the founder and artistic director of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, attended a party for an art opening. During a conversation, he related during a recent interview, he told a guest that he was a musician. She replied that she and her husband were big fans of classical music—new music, in particular, was their passion. In response, Rose mentioned that he runs an institution called the Boston Modern Orchestra Project—kind of a big deal.

The Boston Globe Full review
[Interview] Conductors and Critics on Contemporary Orchestral Music

When preparing to webcast 24 hours of orchestral music written in the 21st century, it is advisable to seek out expert opinions. For Q2 Music's Symphomania: 24 Hours with the 21st-Century Orchestra, we turned to champions of the field for their take: What are the thrills and challenges of conducting this music? Have any trends emerged among new works? How, if at all, is the symphony orchestra evolving?

WQXR Full review
[Interview] Open Source interview with Gil Rose

How did composers react to the violence of The First World War? In the last show in our series on the Great War, we’re listening to the sounds that emerged from its ashes. In Vienna concert halls and New York jazz clubs, from Maurice Ravel’s piano elegies to Igor Stravinsky’s explosive symphonies, we’re coursing through the composers who defined a modern era, reacting to the terrible violence of total warfare through art.

Open Source Full review
[Concert Review] A Phoenix Rises from the Ashes of Opera Boston

Boston opera buffs were dealt a hard blow last December when Opera Boston, a company known for innovative productions of less familiar repertory, announced it was shutting down amid a financial and managerial crisis. But the company’s ambitious plans were not entirely sent to the scrap heap of operatic history: Sir Michael Tippett’s opera, The Midsummer Marriage – planned as the centerpiece of the company’s 2012 season – was reconceived as a concert production Saturday at Jordan Hall by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP).

WQXR Full review
[Press Release] BMOP Brings Apollo's Fire – A Season-Ending Concert Inspired by Greek Mythology

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the nation's premier orchestra dedicated exclusively to commissioning, performing, and recording new orchestral music, presents its final concert of the 2011-12 season – Apollo's Fire. Like many artists and composers of the Western world, BMOP finds contemporary significance in Greek mythology, especially Apollo.

Full review
[News Coverage] Rose, BMOP set to launch season with a spotlight on Canadian composers

"It's funny. When it started, I really thought that after a while it would change," says Gil Rose, artistic director of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.

"It's been fifteen years, and producing concerts and making recordings has become an always and forever state. It's fun for me personally, but I really thought that it would get easier over time."

Boston Classical Review Full review
[Interview] Boston’s Grammy Award nominees prepare for their big night

The Grammy Awards are Sunday night in Los Angeles, and sure, big national music names like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Neil Young will be waiting to hear if they’ve won. But Boston’s talent will be well-represented, too.

And The Nominees Are… Harpist Sarah Schuster Ericsson

It was a big decision, but harpist Sarah Schuster Ericsson finally settled on what to wear to the ceremony in LA — a long, light-gray silk gown with a scooped back. She even modeled it for me in her bedroom.

WBUR Full review
[Interview] William Thomas McKinley: searching for transcendence

William Thomas McKinley (Tom to his friends and family) is a protean personality, a composer of more than 300 works of great diversity, who embraces the classical and jazz worlds with equal proficiency and gusto. His is a restless, exploratory mind that ceaselessly seeks to expand the boundaries of musical form and substance without abandoning the essential building blocks of melody, rhythm, and harmony.

Fanfare Full review
[News Coverage] Genius, explained: firing up the canon

Back in 1996, conductor Gil Rose felt that “95 percent of what orchestras were playing had been written by people who’d been dead for more than 100 years.” Looking for a niche amid Boston’s crowded classical scene, he launched the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, devoted to contemporary music. More than 80 concerts later, BMOP has become the Hub’s most dynamic classical troupe. Its tag line: The Music Formerly Known as Classical. “We stole that from Prince, of course,” Rose says. 

Boston Magazine Full review
[News Coverage] Gil Rose talks to Michael Miller about contemporary music, BMOP, and the Opera Boston premiere of Madame White Snake

Gil Rose is best known for his leadership of two high-profile Boston organizations, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), one of the major supporters of contemporary music in America, and Opera Boston, which specializes in musically outstanding performances of operatic masterpieces which have been neglected by the mainstream houses. I know I’ll be eternally grateful to him and Opera Boston for my first opportunity to see Weber’s Der Freischütz, universally regarded as a seminal work in the history of opera and a great one, but rarely performed today.

The Berkshire Review Full review
[News Coverage] Unusual arsenal for "Big Bang"

Eight player pianos, two grand pianos, four bass drums, four xylophones, an air-raid siren, and a gamelan that weighs nearly a ton - that’s just some of the equipment that the Boston Modern Orchestra Project will have on the Jordan Hall stage for “Big Bang,” tonight’s percussion-heavy season-opening concert.

It’s a bang big enough to cause some logistical headaches, says BMOP’s music director, Gil Rose.

“My orchestra manager decided she won’t kill me, but there has been some discussion of it,” he says, sounding not entirely unserious.

The Boston Globe Full review
[News Coverage] Quiet month gets stimulus

September is usually the quietest month of the year for local classical music, with the summer activity largely vanished and the fall tumult yet to descend. Last year was an exception, with the Alice M. Ditson Fund throwing a big new-music party for most of the established local ensembles over four days at the Institute of Contemporary Art. As groups collaborated and programmed on a broader canvas, the festival energized the local scene, and many musical insiders hoped it could become a fall tradition.

The Boston Globe Full review
[News Coverage] On record – an overview of the state of contemporary music recording, Part 1: Still spinning

“I am distressed about my CD sales, which have completely tanked. I talked to the head of my label about this, and he told me, ‘No one’s buying CDs.’ In effect, he said, ‘What makes you think you’re special?’ Everybody’s collapsing.”
- composer John Adams, Newsweek, February 5, 2009

“The recording industry is kaput.”
- violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Times Union (Albany, NY), February 8, 2007

NewMusicBox Full review
[News Coverage] Ditson Festival showcases Boston's contemporary music

Boston, Massachusetts, is home to a tremendous amount of new music and composers. This fall Boston’s new music ensembles joined together at the new Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) concert hall for a four-day festival. The Ditson Festival of Contemporary Music ran September 18-21 and featured eight cutting-edge concerts, with seven world premieres, supplemented by multimedia works, visual art collaborations, and special events.

International Musician Full review
[News Coverage] This fall at the ICA: New music and the world's fastest dancer

The Institute of Contemporary Art continues to push boundaries in its fall lineup of performances, and this year a lot of these boundaries are musical.

“The artistic goal of our performing arts program is to present to Boston the full range of what artists are doing across disciplines,” says David Henry, the ICA’s director of programs. “For the first year and a half we highlighted dance. But you cannot ignore music.”

The Boston Globe Full review
[News Coverage] BMOP goes into the record business

At a time when pundits continue to predict the death of physical recordings, the always-against-the-grain Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) has launched a new CD label, BMOP/sound. Their initial release is the first complete recording of John Harbison’s 1984 ballet Ulysses. Nine additional releases are scheduled to come out a month at a time for the remainder of 2008.

NewMusicBox Full review
[Press Release] The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) launches its signature record label BMOP/sound

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the nation's leading orchestra dedicated exclusively to performing, commissioning, and recording new music, announces the launch of its own CD label, BMOP/sound. With its debut release, John Harbison: Ulysses, and nine additional titles scheduled for 2008, BMOP/sound becomes the nation's foremost label launched by an orchestra and devoted exclusively to new music recordings.

Full review
[Press Release] BMOP receives a three-year grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) is proud to announce that it is the recipient of an Organizational Support grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), which provides unrestricted operating funds to nearly 400 arts, humanities, and science organizations with track records of excellence, education, and community service. For this three-year granting cycle, BMOP received the fourth largest award among all orchestras in the state, despite its smaller scale.

Full review
[Press Release] BMOP premieres composer retrospectives series with a homage concert to composer Robert Erickson

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) presents a free, evening length concert in honor of American composer Robert Erickson (1917-1997). As part of BMOP's new Composer Retrospectives series, this special event features a cornucopia of Erickson's works ranging from his piece Auroras (1994) for full symphony orchestra to the lesser known Night Music (1978). Other program highlights include: Fantasy for cello and orchestra (1954) with Rafael Popper-Keizer; and East of the Beach (1980).

Full review
[Press Release] Gil Rose of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project wins 2007 Ditson Conductor's Award

Gil Rose, acclaimed musical conductor and founding artistic director of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, has won Columbia University's 2007 Ditson Conductor's Award for his exceptional commitment to the performance of works by American composers. Rose, who also serves as music director of Opera Boston, will receive a citation from Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger and a check for $5,000 at BMOP's 10th annual Boston Connection Concert, held tomorrow at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall, in downtown Boston, beginning at 8:00 p.m.

Full review
[News Coverage] Conductor stands Boston music on its ear

A couple of weeks ago, conductor Gil Rose was sitting in a local Indian restaurant, looking improbably relaxed. As music director of Opera Boston, he had the opening night of Osvaldo Golijov’s flamenco opera Ainadamar looming over his head, and as founder of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, he had four daunting contemporary scores waiting to be whipped into shape for a concert at Jordan Hall.

The Boston Globe Full review
[News Coverage] Ears wide open

A couple of weeks ago, conductor Gil Rose was sitting in a local Indian restaurant, looking improbably relaxed. As music director of Opera Boston, he had the opening night of Osvaldo Golijov’s flamenco opera Ainadamar looming over his head, and as founder of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, he had four daunting contemporary scores waiting to be whipped into shape for a concert that takes place this Friday night at Jordan Hall.

The Boston Globe Full review
[News Coverage] Del Tredici, Oteri, Gil Rose and Imani Winds receive 2007 ASCAP Concert Music Awards

The eighth annual ASCAP Concert Music Awards will be presented this evening at 5:00 p.m in the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City. Hosting the invitation-only event will be composer/performer/radio host/comedic luminary Peter Schickele will host the event. (He will not be appearing in the guise of the musicologist from the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople and authority on P.D.Q. Bach, though he likely to provide more than a few laughs nevertheless.)

Full review
[News Coverage] Voices of "Angels"

Of all the works of art that arose out of the AIDS epidemic, none has so completely transcended its origins as Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. Somewhere between its first productions in the early 1990s and now, Kushner’s epic play ceased being a work about AIDS and became one of the great American dramas of the last 50 years.

The Boston Globe Full review
[Interview] Highbrow big band: Boston Modern Orchestra Project swings both ways

I believe I’m supposed to blame Theodor Adorno for this, but somewhere along the way in the 20th century’s formative years, modern music got divvied up between “serious” and “popular” ears. As lame distinctions go, this one has proven particularly persistent, hanging around to this day in boiled-down form as an opposition between fun and not-fun. In any case, it has left us with an unnecessary schism in the way we understand American music.

The Weekly Dig Full review
[Press Release] Opera Unlimited presents the North American premiere of "Angels in America" in Boston, June 16-25, 2006

Opera Unlimited presents the North American premiere of Peter Eötvös's Angels in America, with a libretto by Mari Mezei, based on the play by Tony Kushner. Performances take place on June 16, 17, and 20 at 8:00 pm and June 24 at 3:00 pm in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts.

Full review
[Press Release] BMOP presents Concertos for Indigenous Instruments

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), under artistic director and conductor Gil Rose, continues its exploration of new orchestral music influenced by non-Western cultures with a program of concertos for Persian, Korean, and Japanese instruments on March 10, 2006 at Jordan Hall.

Full review
[News Coverage] "Premiere is a work of complexity," The Boston Globe says of Andriessen's latest piece

The Dutch composer Louis Andriessen has won the respect of warring factions within the contemporary-music world. At 66, Andriessen has kept his footing at the cutting edge of the avant-garde for more than four decades; at the same time, the imagination and precision of his workmanship rival those of the most mandarin masters of modernism.

The Boston Globe Full review
[News Coverage] BMOP salutes Toru Takemitsu

Next Friday at Jordan Hall, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project will celebrate the 75th birthday of one of the most individual and iconoclastic composers of the 20th century. Not that Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996) is a household name, even in classical-music circles. And it’s hardly simple-minded to ask who exactly he was, since Takemitsu has been assimilated into Western tradition more fully than any other Asian composer.

The Boston Phoenix Full review
[News Coverage] Rose blooms in unlikely place

“Is that a conductor’s baton or a divining rod that Gil Rose waves around in front of the musicians of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project?

. . .Thanks to a combination of Rose’s savvy programming and the notable skill of the orchestra’s musicians, BMOP is in its eighth season of orchestral concerts. But that divining rod keeps taking Rose and BMOP down even more unusual paths.

The Boston Herald Full review
[News Coverage] High flying, risk taking

“The Boston Modern Orchestra Project is forever explaining its name. “BMOP” (pronounced BEE-mop) to its friends, the group’s full name encapsulates its mission: a full-sized professional Orchestra, based in Boston, dedicated to performing Modern works. Within the “Project” element lies the group’s true niche - expressing not only modern repertoire but also modern organizational structure. Artistic Director and Founder Gil Rose explains that “the whole thing was set up as an effort to create a different format for what an orchestra is.

Symphony Magazine Full review
[News Coverage] A bold declaration: Experiencing BMOP's modern music

“...if even a conductor gets lost in the dense leaves of the modern music tree, what hope is there for the rest of us? Well, [Gil] Rose’s point is partly that no one should feel threatened by any piece of music since no particular style can claim “high ground” any longer. In other words, it is perfectly valid to simply rely on our gut feelings about which types of music we like; there is no danger of thereby committing any artistic faux pas. Yet, still, how can listeners put what they hear into some kind of meaningful context amidst such a cacophony of competing musical values?

ArtsEditor Full review