Japanese-American conductor Kensho Watanabe has recently been appointed Assistant Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra, beginning his tenure in the fall of 2016. He also continues to hold the title of Conducting Fellow of the San Diego Symphony. Kensho was the inaugural Conducting Fellow of the the Curtis Institute from 2013 to 2015, under the mentorship of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Equally at home in both symphonic and operatic repertoire, Kensho has led numerous operas with the Curtis Opera Theatre, most recently La Bohéme in 2015. Additionally, he has served as Assistant Conductor to Mr. Nézet-Séguin on a new production of Elektra at Opera de Montréal. Future performances include a debut with the Orlando Philharmonic, and reengagements with the Orchestre Métropolitain, the San Diego Symphony, and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.
An accomplished violinist, Kensho received his Master of Music in Violin from the Yale School of Music, and served as a substitute violinist for the Philadelphia Orchestra from 2012-2016.
Cognizant of the importance of the training and development of young musicians, Kensho has also served on the staff of the Greenwood Music Camp since 2007, and currently serves as the Orchestra Conductor.
Kensho is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Conducting, where he studied with distinguished conducting pedagogue Otto-Werner Mueller. He has also studied with Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival, and Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux School. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Yale College, where he studied Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology.