Masur first attracted international attention in 2007 when he won the audition of the San Antonio Symphony and became its resident conductor beginning in the 2007–2008 season. During the San Antonio Symphony’s 2008–2009 season, Masur conducts the complete Pops, Young People’s Concerts, Interactive Family Concerts and neighborhood series concerts, as well as concerts for New Year’s Eve, the Nutcracker with the San Antonio Ballet, and all other special events such as Veterans Day and the Tobin Endowment Memorial Day Concert, which is annually broadcast live on public television.
High praise has followed Masur since his conducting debut in 1998. In 1999, he co-founded the Columbia University Bach Society Orchestra and Choir and as its first music director, appeared at such venues as Miller Theatre, Riverside Church, The 92nd Street Y, the German Consulate General Auditorium and the University Club in Manhattan. Under Masur’s leadership, the Bach Society successfully released its debut CD in 2002 and toured Germany to rave reviews.
Masur served Assistant Conductor of the Orchestre National de France from 2004 to 2006, covering such large-scale works as Honnegger’s Jeanne d’Arc and Grieg’s Peer Gynt. He collaborated as Assistant Conductor to Sir Colin Davis in Orchestre National de France’s production of Gustav Holst’s The Planets and in March 2005, Masur was invited to prepare J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Chœur de Radio France and the children’s choir, La Maîtrise de Radio.
Other recent highlights include Masur’s opening of the Chœur de Radio France’s 2005-2006 season in concert, as well as conducting the Rio de Janeiro Symphony and the Cherubini Orchestra in Italy last season. Masur makes his debut with the National Orchestra of Toulouse in France in April 2009.
Born in Leipzig, Germany, Ken-David Masur began his comprehensive musical training at age six with the piano and at age nine as boy-soprano in the legendary Gewandhaus Children’s Choir. As an undergraduate at Columbia University, Masur studied orchestration with French composer Tristan Murail, composition with Joseph Dubiel and conducting with Jeffrey Milarsky. He served as Principal Trumpet of the Columbia University Orchestra and of the National Youth Guild Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin.
He first studied conducting under his father, Kurt Masur, and his mentors Jorma Panula, Zdenek Macal (New Jersey Philharmonic), George Manahan (New York City Opera) at the Manhattan School of Music, and Helmut Rilling at the Oregon Bachfest. After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Columbia in 2002, Masur became a master-student of bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” in Berlin, Germany.
Masur’s interest to engage and encourage the next generation of musicians has led him to teach and give master classes for conducting and voice, including a conducting master class for the choral conductors of the 4,500-member Hong Kong Children’s Choir in 2006. This season, he will lead the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio and the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio in an educational workshop and performance of Bach cantatas. Additionally, Masur will teach instrumental and vocal performance workshops at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Ken-David Masur currently makes his home in San Antonio with his wife, pianist Melinda Lee Masur, and their daughter, Magdalena.
The Feb. 3 concert is funded, in part, by generous grants from the Joe Barnhart Foundation and the Coastal Bend Community Foundation. For additional information, contact Kay Past at (361) 354-2401.