Music Director and founder of New York City’s Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, David Bernard has gained recognition for his dramatic and incisive conducting in over 20 countries on four continents, including a nine-city tour of the People's Republic of China and a guest conducting assignment with the China Conservatory Orchestra.
Under Maestro Bernard’s leadership the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony has thrived, expanding in size and achieving critical acclaim. Active throughout the greater-New York City area, Maestro Bernard has appeared as a guest conductor with the Long Island String Festival, the Massapequa Philharmonic, the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble, the Putnam Symphony and the South Shore Symphony. Mr. Bernard has previously served as Music Director of the Stony Brook University Orchestra, the Gilbert and Sullivan Light Opera Company of Long Island, and Theater Three. Previously he held the post of Assistant Conductor of both the Jacksonville and Stamford symphony orchestras.
A multiple First Prize Winner of the Orchestral Conducting Competition of The American Prize, David Bernard was described by the judges as "a first rate conductor. “With no score, an animated and present Maestro Bernard led a phenomenal performance of incredibly difficult repertoire—masterly in shaping, phrasing, technique and expressivity”. A reading of Richard Strauss’s Tod und Verklärung brought high praise from Lucid Culture, which found the performance to be “unsurpassed in its dynamic range and attention to detail.”
Maestro Bernard’s discography includes 17 albums spanning music from Vivaldi to Copland, including a complete Beethoven symphony cycle praised for its “intensity, spontaneity, propulsive rhythm, textural clarity, dynamic control, and well-judged phrasing” (Fanfare). About his release of 20th century orchestral music by Copland, Stravinsky, Vaughan Williams, and Bartók, Fanfare Magazine wrote:
David Bernard is an exceptional conductor… His performances are marked by a strong sense of the music’s structure, an outstanding feeling for orchestral texture and phrasing, and a dynamic rhythmic propulsion that makes itself felt even in quiet passages.” (July 2014)
Maestro Bernard is passionately committed to elementary and secondary school music education, continuously developing new talent and providing solo performance experience to exciting young artists.
Bernard is an alumnus of The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, Stony Brook University, Tanglewood, and Saratoga Performing Arts Center.