BERKELEY HEIGHTS—It is with great pleasure that the Board of Trustees of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts announces that Simon Lipskar will be the Interim Conductor of the Youth Symphony, NJYS’s premiere orchestra. Mr. Lipskar will conduct the Youth Symphony in three concerts during the 2017-18 season. He is currently the conductor of the Youth Orchestra, an ensemble he has led over the past 11 years.
The Board is currently searching for an Artistic Director for the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts and conductor for the New Jersey Youth Symphony, and progress on that will be announced at a later date. An interim conductor for Youth Orchestra will also be announced later.
WIPA Board President, Bob Hamburger, said, “I could not be happier to have Simon Lipskar at the helm of Youth Symphony for this upcoming season. Simon is a brilliant, energetic conductor with a lot of passion for the music and for educating students. The Youth Symphony will be in great hands.”
A conductor focused on inspiring and educating young musicians, Simon Lipskar has been the conductor of the New Jersey Youth Symphony Youth Orchestra since 2006, having previously conducted the NJYS Philharmonia from 2004 to 2006. He conducts in the summers at the Kinhaven Music School where he was a student himself as a teenager. He served as Assistant Conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic under Robert Spano, as well as for a number of other orchestras and opera companies. A member of Tanglewood’s prestigious Conductor’s Seminar led by Robert Spano and Gustav Meier, he took part in master classes led by Seiji Ozawa, Bernard Haitink, Andre Previn, and Joseph Silverstein.
He received his Master’s in Orchestral Conducting from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied under Michael Morgan and Denis de Coteau and was awarded the Conducting Department Award in Honor of Outstanding Contributions to the Conservatory Ensembles. A graduate of Yale University where he received a B.A. in Religious Studies, he was a Juilliard Pre-college violinist, pianist, and composer and was an award-winning chamber musician as a teenager, performing in Alice Tully Hall among many other venues.
Alongside his extensive work with young orchestral musicians, Simon is President of Writers House, a leading literary agency in New York, where he represents many of today’s bestselling and award-winning authors.
As part of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, the New Jersey Youth Symphony has a rich history of fostering musical talent for over 35 years. Each of its 14 ensembles offers participants a different, yet fully rounded experience. The family of orchestras serves students from 3rd to 12th grades. NJYS is committed to providing the finest ensemble musical training led by our staff of experienced and renowned conductors, and is known for its high standard of excellence throughout the United States and internationally.The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts’ mission is to provide the highest quality performing arts education to a wide range of students in a supportive and inclusive environment, where striving for personal excellence inspires and connects those we teach to the communities we serve.
Wharton is New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts education center serving over 1,400 students through a range of classes and ensembles including the 14 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Symphony which serve 500 students in grades 3 - 12. Beginning with Early Childhood music classes for infants and toddlers, WIPA offers private lessons, group classes and ensembles for all ages and all abilities. We believe in the positive and unifying influence of music and the performing arts and believe that arts education should be accessible to all people regardless of their ability to pay. We teach all instruments and voice and have a robust musical theatre program.
The Paterson Music Project is Wharton’s El Sistema-inspired program held at the Community Charter School of Paterson and Paterson Public School 1/26. Students receive 6 hours of intensive music instruction each week with the goal of creating social change through the ambitious pursuit of musical excellence.
Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts is located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence and Paterson, NJ and reaches students from 13 counties. All of WIPA’s extraordinary faculty members and conductors hold degrees in their teaching specialty and have been vetted and trained to enable our students to achieve their personal best.