David Bernard has gained recognition for his dramatic and incisive conducting in the United Stated and in over 20 countries on four continents. He serves as Music Director of the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony and the Massapequa Philharmonic. A multiple First Prize winner of the Orchestral Conducting Competition of The American Prize, Bernard was described in the judges’ remarks as, “a first-rate conductor…phenomenal performance…masterly in shaping, phrasing, technique and expressivity.”
Noted recent performances include a Lincoln Center performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (“Conducting from memory, David Bernard led a transcendent performance…vivid…expertly choreographed.”, LucidCulture) and a Carnegie Hall performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (“taught and dramatic”, superconductor).
Bernard’s recordings have received enthusiastic critical praise. His release of Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique was lauded by Gramophone Magazine as “…an impressively elegant, thoughtful, well‑balanced and sophisticated Tchaikovsky Pathétique.” Of his Beethoven Symphony No. 9 release, The Arts Desk proclaimed “Scintillating Beethoven…Edge-of-the-seat playing…it’s a winner: dramatic, witty, eloquent and boasting some startling choral work in the last movement.” His complete recorded Beethoven symphony cycle was praised by Fanfare magazine for its “intensity, spontaneity, propulsive rhythm, textural clarity, dynamic control, and well-judged phrasing”. Of his recent premiere recording of new editions of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and The Firebird, The Art Music Lounge proclaimed “this is THE preferred recording of The Rite because of its authenticity as well as the almost startling boldness of approach.”.
Particularly active throughout the greater New York City area, David Bernard has appeared as a guest conductor with orchestras including the Brooklyn Symphony, the Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Island Symphony Orchestra, the Litha Symphony, Manhattan School of Music, the Massapequa Philharmonic, the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble, the Putnam Symphony and the South Shore Symphony. Devoted to the music of our own time, he has presented world premières of scores by Bruce Adolphe, Chris Caswell, John Mackey, Ted Rosenthal and Jake Runestad, and distinguished concert collaborators have included Anna Lee, Jeffrey Biegel, Carter Brey, David Chan, Catherine Cho, Adrian Daurov, Pedro Díaz, Edith Dowd, Stanley Drucker, Bart Feller, Ryu Goto, Whoopi Goldberg, Sirena Huang, Judith Ingolfsson, Yevgeny Kutik, Anna Lee, Jessica Lee, Kristin Lee, Jon Manasse, Anthony McGill, Spencer Myer, Todd Phillips, Kristin Sampson and Cameron Schutza.
Bernard has worked with the Edwin F. Kalmus editorial team, led by Clinton F. Nieweg, retired librarian of the Philadelphia Orchestra, developing new editions of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” and “The Firebird Suite—1919 Version,” which has been published in 2016. In addition, he has published his own editions of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, K. 622, and Schumann’s Symphony No. 2, Op. 61.
David Bernard is an acclaimed orchestra builder and is sought after for his artistic leadership and innovation in community engagement. Under his leadership as Music Director, both the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony and the Massapequa Philharmonic have thrived—with growing audiences, expanded ensembles and increased critical acclaim. Bernard’s approach to growing new audiences for classical music include engaging families in the community through schools, presenting multi-media concert presentations and developing a new concert format—“Classical Music from the InsideOut” where audiences sit inside the orchestra during concerts. David Bernard’s InsideOut concerts with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony and the Massapequa Philharmonic have been acclaimed by WQXR, Newsday, ClassicalWorld and the Epoch Times, bringing an unsurpassed experience and level of engagement for the audiences of all ages.