Ankush Kumar Bahl
When venerable guest conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos took ill... the orchestra called upon its assistant conductor, Ankush Kumar Bahl, to lead the final performance on Saturday. No one hearing the concert cold would have had any reason to think that Bahl had not been leading the orchestra all week... the orchestra responded with a solid performance (and) the audience gave him a standing ovation at the close. Robert Battey, The Washington Post, March 2014
-The National Symphony Orchestra shone under its assistant conductor, Ankush Kumar Bahl, whose crisp tempi and authority left one wanting to hear more of him... -Bahl drew a lush sound from the orchestra, particularly the strings… and brought the work to a towering climax.” Anne Midgette, The Washington Post, and Patrick D. McCoy, Washington Life Magazine, November 2012
Hailed by the New York Times as an “energetic” conductor who leads with “authority and enthusiasm,” Ankush Kumar Bahl is recognized today as a conductor with unassailable technique, thoughtful interpretations, and affable podium presence. Bahl has made, in recent years, appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the National Opera Orchestre de Nancy, the Copenhagen Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Indianapolis Symphony; among others in the U.S. and Europe. This season, Bahl will expand his international presence . . . with debuts in Canada, Mexico and South America. This summer, Bahl will appear once again with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and make his debut with an all Mendelssohn program at the Chautauqua Institute. Mr. Bahl is a proud recipient of the 2013 and 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards as well as the 2009 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship.
Discovered in 2009 by New York Philharmonic Music Director Emeritus, Kurt Masur, Bahl soon became Masur’s most trusted protégé. Masur’s mentorship continued after Bahl was hired to be an assistant conductor at the Orchestre National de France, the Royal Concertgebouw, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. It was in this capacity that Bahl began a relationship with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and was called upon to step in for Maestro Masur for two performances of Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony.
In 2011, Bahl began a 2 year appointment with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. under the mentorship of Christoph Eschenbach. As a result of his work with the orchestra and his contributions to the D.C. community, Bahl was renewed in 2013 for an additional 2 seasons. During his time with the NSO, Bahl conducted over 100 performances including his NSO debut in 2011, his subscription concert debut in 2012, his Wolf Trap debut in 2013, the inaugural concert of the Rubenstein Family Organ for the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, numerous run out concerts for the NSO’s In Your Neighborhood program, and his annual Young People’s Concerts which educated over 24,000 students each year. In addition, Bahl was the primary conductor for the NSO’s Beyond the Score series and in February 2013, he stepped in on hours notice for an ailing Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos in a performance that included Respighi’s Pines of Rome and featured mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor and pianist Daniil Trifonov.
American born, of Indian descent, Ankush Kumar Bahl is native of the San Francisco Bay Area and received a double degree in music and rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley. He has been a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival with David Zinman and completed his master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting at the Manhattan School of Music with Zdenek Macal.