Julien Benichou

Julien BenichouConductor Julien Benichou is SMYOC's Music Director. He is also the Music Director for the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra and the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra. Mr Benichou is the Orchestra Director at Towson University and is a Visiting Conductor at Montclair State University.

Previous positions have included Assistant Conductor of the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Skokie (Illinois) Symphony Orchestra and the Columbia (Maryland) Symphony Orchestra. As guest conductor, Mr. Benichou has led the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica do Parana in Curitiba, Brazil and the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra in St. Petersburg, Russia. He also has conducted the Mobtown Modern new music concerts in Baltimore, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Mobtown Modern Synchronicity collaboration, and the New Music Ensemble at Towson University.

Before coming to the United States in 1995 for graduate studies with Gustav Meier at the Peabody Conservatory, Mr. Benichou held positions in his native France leading several choral ensembles. Further studies were at the Rueil-Malmaison Conservatory in France where he studied conducting with Jean Sebastien Bereau. He studied harmony and counterpoint at the Schola Cantorum in Paris and was the recipient of several awards.

In addition to receiving a graduate performance diploma from Peabody Conservatory, Julien Benichou earned a master's degree in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University under Victor Yampolsky, and did further graduate studies at Yale University with Lawrence Leighton Smith. Among the conductors with whom he has participated in master classes are Leonard Slatkin, Yuri Temirkanov, Marin Alsop, Michael Tilson Thomas and JoAnn Falletta. At the Hot Springs (Arkansas) Music Festival Mr. Benichou received a fellowship as assistant conductor and the following summer as associate conductor.

Mr. Benichou has a special interest in new music and has led commissions, premieres and a recording on the Centaur label. He has also written and conducted the sound track for a recent film. Also an opera and ballet conductor, Mr. Benichou has also worked with the Ballet Theater of Maryland, the Morgan State University Choir and Opera Workshop, as well as the Baltimore Concert Opera. He has conducted a fully staged production of Porgy and Bess at Morgan State University to great critical acclaim.

Another strong interest is music education. Mr. Benichou has led the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra on three European tours, including St. Petersburg, Russia where he conducted a side-by side concert with the St. Petersburg Symphony, and Ireland. He has been guest conductor for numerous honors orchestras in Maryland and California.


Past Conductors:

  • Dr. Cheryl Blockland, 2016 - 2017
  • Andrew Smouse, 2015
  • AnneMarie Karnbach, 2013 - 2015