is one of today’s most trailblazing conductors, praised as “amazingly versatile” (The Boston Globe) with “a sense of style and sophistication” (Opera News). Equally at home performing core repertoire, new music, and lesser-known historic symphonic and operatic works, “Gil Rose is not just a fine conductor, but a peerless curator, sniffing out—and commissioning—off-trend, unheralded, and otherwise underplayed repertoire that nevertheless holds to unfailingly high standards of quality. In doing so, he’s built an indefinable, but unmistakable, personal aesthetic” (WXQR).
A global leader in American contemporary music, Rose is the founder of the performing and recording ensemble the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), who “bring an endlessly curious and almost archaeological mind to programming… with each concert, each recording, an essential step in a better direction” (The New York Times), as well as the founder of Odyssey Opera, praised by The New York Times as “bold and intriguing” and “one of the East Coast’s most interesting opera companies.”
Since its founding in 1996, the “unique and invaluable” (The New York Times) BMOP has grown to become the premier orchestra in the world for commissioning, recording, and performing music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Under Rose’s leadership, BMOP has won seventeen ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, been selected as Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year in 2016, and in 2021was awarded a Gramophone Magazine Special Achievement Award in recognition of its extraordinary service to American music of the modern era. Under Rose’s baton, BMOP has been featured at numerous festivals including the Festival of New American Music (Sacramento, CA), Concerts at the Library of Congress (Washington, DC), and the MATA Festival in New York.
In 2013, Gil Rose expanded his musical vision with the founding of Odyssey Opera, a company dedicated to eclectic and underperformed operatic repertoire from all eras. Working with an international roster of singers and directors, Odyssey has presented more than 35 operas in Boston, with innovative, thematically linked seasons. The company has also established itself as a leader of modern opera in the United States, having given three world premieres and numerous U.S. premieres.
In addition to his role as conductor, Rose is leading the charge for the preservation and advancement of underperformed works through recordings. BMOP/sound, the independent record label Rose founded in 2008, has released over 86 recordings of contemporary music by today’s most innovative composers, including world premieres by John Cage, Lukas Foss, Chen Yi, Anthony Davis, Lisa Bielawa, Steven Mackey, Eric Nathan, and many others. With Rose as executive producer, the label has secured five GRAMMY® nominations and a win in 2020 for Tobias Picker’s opera Fantastic Mr. Fox. Odyssey Opera’s in-house label has released five CDs, most recently a complete version of Camille Saint-Saëns’s Henry VIII.
Beyond Boston, Gil Rose enjoys a busy schedule as a guest conductor and educator. Equally at home on the podium in both symphonic and operatic repertoire, Rose has led performances by the Tanglewood Opera Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra, the National Symphony of Ukraine, the Matsumoto Festival of Japan, the New York City Opera, and the Juilliard Symphony among others. In addition to being former faculty at Tufts University and Northeastern University, Rose has worked with students across the U.S. at institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University, MIT, New England Conservatory, and the University of California at San Diego. He is a visionary curator of music, inaugurating the Ditson Festival of Music at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art and programming three seasons for the Fromm Concerts at Harvard series.
In the coming seasons, Gil Rose leads Odyssey Opera in a concert performance of three one-act operas by Rachmaninoff and brings John Corigliano and Mark Adamo’s new opera The Lord of Cries to Boston audiences. In addition, he and BMOP will travel to Carnegie Hall for the orchestra’s debut performance and culmination of their 25th season, and BMOP and Odyssey will co-produce Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom, the second opera in As Told By: History, Race, and Justice on the Opera Stage, a five-year initiative highlighting Black composers and vital figures of Black liberation and thought.
Boston Modern Orchestra Project
Named Musical America's 2016 "Ensemble of the Year" (the first orchestra ever to receive the honor), The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) is widely recognized as the leading orchestra in the United States dedicated exclusively to performing new music. Its signature record label, BMOP/sound, is the nation’s foremost label launched by an orchestra and solely devoted to new music recordings.
The Boston Modern Orchestra Project is the premier orchestra in the United States dedicated exclusively to commissioning, performing, and recording music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Described by The New York Times as “one of the most artistically valuable” orchestras in the country, BMOP is a unique institution in today’s musical world, disseminating exceptional orchestral music “new or so woefully neglected that it might as well be” via performances and recordings of the highest caliber.
Founded by Artistic Director Gil Rose in 1996, BMOP has championed composers whose careers span over a century. Each season, Rose brings BMOP’s award-winning orchestra, renowned soloists, and influential composers to the stage of New England Conservatory’s historic Jordan Hall, with programming that is “a safe haven for, and champion of, virtually every ism, and every genre- and era-mixing hybrid that composers’ imaginations have wrought” (Wall Street Journal). The musicians of BMOP are consistently lauded for the energy, imagination, and passion with which they infuse the music of the present era.
BMOP’s distinguished and adventurous track record includes premieres and recordings of monumental and provocative new works such as John Harbison’s ballet Ulysses, Charles Wuorinen’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories, and Lei Liang’s A Thousand Mountains, A Million Streams. The composers performed and commissioned by BMOP contain Pulitzer and Rome Prize winners, Grawemeyer Award recipients, and MacArthur grant fellows.
From 1997 to 2014 the orchestra won 17 ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming. BMOP has been featured at festivals including Opera Unlimited, the Ditson Festival of Contemporary Music with the ICA/Boston, Tanglewood, the Boston Cyberarts Festival, Concerts at the Library of Congress (Washington, DC), the Festival of New American Music (Sacramento, CA), Music on the Edge (Pittsburgh, PA), and the MATA Festival in New York. During its 20th anniversary season, BMOP was named Musical America’s 2016 Ensemble of the Year, the first symphony orchestra in the organization’s history to receive this distinction.
BMOP has actively pursued a role in music education through composer residencies, collaborations with colleges, and an ongoing relationship with the New England Conservatory, where it is Affiliate Orchestra for New Music. The musicians of BMOP are equally at home in Symphony Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and in Cambridge’s Club Oberon and Boston’s Club Café, where they pursued a popular, composer-led Club Concert series from 2004 to 2012.
BMOP/sound, BMOP’s independent record label, was created in 2008 to provide a platform for BMOP’s extensive archive of music, as well as to provide widespread, top-quality, permanent access to both classics of the 20th century and the music of today’s most innovative composers. BMOP/sound has released over 75 CDs on the label, bringing BMOP’s discography to 100 titles. BMOP/sound has garnered praise from the national and international press; it is the recipient of a 2020 GRAMMY® Award for Tobias Picker: Fantastic Mr. Fox, seven GRAMMY® Award nominations, and its releases have appeared on the year-end “Best of” lists of The New York Times, The Boston Globe, National Public Radio, Time Out New York, American Record Guide, Downbeat Magazine, WBUR, NewMusicBox, and others.
BMOP expands the horizon of a typical “night at the symphony.” Admired, praised, and sought after by artists, presenters, critics, and audiophiles, BMOP and BMOP/sound are uniquely positioned to redefine the new music concert and recording experience.