Cuban-born conductor Jesus Manuel Berard is music director and conductor of the Prince George’s Philharmonic Orchestra. Previously, he was founder and artistic director of the Peconic Chamber Orchestra in the Hamptons (New York), and music director of the Chamber Players at Connecticut College and the Connecticut College Orchestra (New London), the American University Symphony Orchestra (Washington, DC), the Columbia University Chamber Orchestra and the Hofstra University Symphony Orchestra (New York), and the DC Youth Orchestra Program, as well as others. As a guest conductor, he has worked with the Bulgarian State Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra (Burgas), Teatro Lirico of DC, the Embassy Series (Washington, DC), Ridotto (New York), the New Music festivals of the University of Maryland School of Music (College Park) and UNC East Carolina University School of Music, the Richmond Philharmonic Orchestra (Virginia), the orchestras of the Florida International University School of Music (Miami), Georgetown University (Washington, DC), Long Island University, C.W. Post (New York), the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association State Orchestra Festival, and many other organizations. He has performed at the White House, Smithsonian Institution, State Department, National Cathedral, Kennedy Center, Austrian Embassy, GALA Hispanic Theatre and THEARC in Washington, DC, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland (College Park), Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory and Symphony Hall (Boston), Temple University Performing Arts Center (Philadelphia), the Wertheim Performing Arts Center (Miami), Lincoln Center and the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (New York), the Ivan Vulpye Concert Hall (Burgas, Bulgaria), and other venues. He has collaborated artistically with the Czech Embassy (Washington, DC), as well as with Marvin Hamlisch, Lorin Maazel, Leonard Slatkin, Benjamin Zander and Carlos Miguel Prieto, and he has performed under such conductors as Antal Dorati, Seiji Ozawa, Gunther Schuller, Robert Shaw and Robert Craft. Media appearances include the New York Times and Washington Post, as well as NBC’s Good Morning America, National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” and WTOP Radio and WETA Classical Radio in Washington, DC.
Also a committed teacher and scholar, Berard has taught conducting, music theory and analysis and music history at New England Conservatory, Columbia University, American University, Hofstra University, Connecticut College and S.U.N.Y. Suffolk County Community College. He is an active clinician, adjudicator and competition judge, most recently with the Maryland Orchestra Directors Association and Maryland Music Educators Association.
His conducting teachers include Otto-Werner Mueller, Harold Farberman, David Epstein, Piero Bellugi and Frank Battisti, and he studied piano with Carol Rankin, Carolyn Kleiner and Thomas Vogelman, voice (bass-baritone) with Marian Thompson, Margarethe Mueller, George Fiore and Lorna Cooke DeVaron, composition, theory and analysis with Donald Martino, Robert Cogan, Patricia Carpenter, Jonathan Kramer and Fred Lerdahl, and participated in conducting and composition masterclasses with Larry Rachleff, Carl St. Clair, Pierre Boulez, Aaron Copland and Roger Sessions. He received B.M. and M.M. degrees from New England Conservatory, M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University, for which he wrote his doctoral dissertation on the music of Gustav Mahler. He resides in Maryland near Washington, DC, as well as in New York City and Eastern Long Island, New York.