Gisèle Ben-Dor

Conductor Laureate, Santa Barbara Symphony
Conductor Emerita, Boston Pro-Arte Chamber Orchestra

Biography

A formidable and incandescent presence on the podium, conductor Gisèle Ben-Dor is described by the Los Angeles Times as “a star on the rise – a ferocious talent.” “Ben-Dor casts her spell,” the Boston Globe reported, “a tremendous musician, expert technician, charismatic performer.” These comments reflect the overwhelming praise Ben-Dor has garnered in her appearances as guest conductor with major orchestras and opera houses throughout the world.

Amongst her list of past successes, Ms Ben-Dor has led the New York Philharmonic, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Helsinki Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, New World Symphony, Israel Philharmonic and the Israel Chamber Orchestra.

Highlights of recent seasons include engagements with The Rotterdam Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, Tuscan Sun Festival Orchestra in a gala concert at the Festival, Mississippi Symphony, National Orchestra of Chile, Jerusalem Symphony, NSO Taipei, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta and Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Reviews

“Ben-Dor casts her spell”

Boston Globe

“On the podium was Gisèle Ben-Dor…right at home in this repertoire, even leading some works by memory… This turned out to be one of the concert’s high points, with Ben-Dor… conveying this music’s essential urgency and earthiness…”

Kyle MacMillan

Chicago Sun

More Reviews

“Ben-Dor casts her spell”

Boston Globe

“Not only does she lead each piece with sympathy and a knowing hand, keeping the tango pulse alive and vibrant, but Ben-Dor commissioned Mosalini’s Cien Años and his arrangement of The Four Seasons … All lovers of Piazzolla will be grateful to Ben-Dor for a project that has wound up being a superb listen. Warmly recommended as one of the liveliest, most entertaining albums of the year.”
Huntley Dent, Fanfare Archive

“Conductor Gisèle Ben-Dor has long been a superb advocate for Latin-American music. Here, she leads the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra in performances that are teeming with color, style, and irrepressible energy. The recording, which positions the listener in close proximity to the artists (but not oppressively so), packs considerable impact … A worthy and highly engaging centenary tribute to the father of the Tango Nuevo. Recommended.”
Ken Meltzer, Crossover Media 

“Gisele Ben-Dor achieved a strings texture that breathed like a single vocalist. This great interpretation of the concerto restored one’s appreciation of the balanced place of the tango nuevo patriarch in this essential repertoire.”

Victor Khatutsky, The Boston Musical Intelligencer 

“… the most powerful performance …”

Andrew J. Sammut, Boston Classical Review

“… enterprising … real authority … a labour of love … such a treat …”

Andrew Clements, The Guardian

“… astonishing … impressive … the passion is palpable and often profoundly moving … Gisèle Ben-Dor draws secure and characterful playing from the Santa Barbara Symphony throughout.”

Andrew Farrach-Colton, Gramophone Magazine

“… expressive power … Ben-Dor conducts the Santa Barbara Symphony orchestra with plenty of heat.”

Neil Fisher, The Times

“On the podium was Gisèle Ben-Dor…right at home in this repertoire, even leading some works by memory… This turned out to be one of the concert’s high points, with Ben-Dor… conveying this music’s essential urgency and earthiness…”

Kyle MacMillan, Chicago Sun 

“A full house at the Salle Erasme ….the music ,both violent and colorful , of Copland’s 1942 ballet….. authentique American music…. The fearsome score was energetically conducted by Gisele Ben-Dor”

Dernieres Nouvelles d’Alsace

“Under the baton of visiting conductor Gisèle Ben-Dorr, the orchestra delivered a punchy sound of fire from the guts. Moments of lyrical languor augmented the racy stream of clear texture, vibrant colour, and throbbing pace.”

Bachtrack 

“If Ms. Ben-Dor had merely survived in a work as complex as the Mahler … she would have done well; she did more, making the interpretation … her own “

The New York Times 

“… There is surely no holding back a conductor with so ferocious a talent.”

Mark Swed, The Los Angeles Times

 

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