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Gil Rose

GRAMMY® Award-winner Gil Rose is one of today’s most trailblazing conductors, praised as “amazingly versatile” (The Boston Globe) with “a sense of style and sophistication” (Opera News). Whether performing the core repertoire, new music, or lesser-known historic symphonic and operatic works, “Gil Rose is not just a fine conductor, but a peerless curator, sniffing out—and commissioning—off-trend, unheralded, and otherwise underplayed repertoire that nevertheless holds to unfailingly high standards of quality. In doing so, he’s built an indefinable, but unmistakable, personal aesthetic” (WXQR). 

A global leader in American contemporary music, Rose is the founder of the performing and recording ensemble the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), who “bring an endlessly curious and almost archaeological mind to programming… with each concert, each recording, an essential step in a better direction” (The New York Times), as well as the founder of Odyssey Opera, celebrated by The New York Times as “bold and intriguing” and “one of the East Coast’s most interesting opera companies.” In 2023, Rose accepted a leadership staff position of Director of Opera and Sonic Exploration at Artpark in Lewiston, NY, a first of its kind at the 50-year-old institution intent on growing its Opera and New Music programming encouraged by the recent successes and with partial support of the Jean Hackenheimer bequest. 

Since its founding in 1996, the “unique and invaluable” (The New York Times) BMOP has grown to become the premier orchestra in the world for commissioning, recording, and performing music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Under Rose’s leadership, BMOP has won seventeen ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, been selected as Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year in 2016, and in 2021was awarded a Gramophone Magazine Special Achievement Award in recognition of its extraordinary service to American music of the modern era. Under Rose’s baton, BMOP has been featured at numerous festivals including the Festival of New American Music (Sacramento, CA), Concerts at the Library of Congress (Washington, DC), and the MATA Festival in New York. 

In 2013, Gil Rose expanded his musical vision with the founding of Odyssey Opera, a company dedicated to eclectic and underperformed operatic repertoire from all eras. Working with an international roster of singers and directors, Odyssey has presented more than 35 operas in Boston, with innovative, thematically linked seasons. The company has also established itself as a leader of modern opera in the United States, having given three world premieres and numerous U.S. premieres. 

In addition to his role as conductor, Rose is leading the charge for the preservation and advancement of underperformed works through recordings. BMOP/sound, the independent record label Rose founded in 2008, has released over 90 recordings of contemporary music by today’s most innovative composers, including world premieres by John Cage, Lukas Foss, Chen Yi, Anthony Davis, Lisa Bielawa, Steven Mackey, Eric Nathan, and many others. With Rose as executive producer, the label has secured five GRAMMY® nominations and a win in 2020 for Tobias Picker’s opera Fantastic Mr. Fox. Odyssey Opera’s in-house label has released five CDs, most recently a complete version of Camille Saint-Saëns’s Henry VIII. 

Beyond Boston, Gil Rose enjoys a busy schedule as a guest conductor and educator. Equally at home on the podium in both symphonic and operatic repertoire, Rose has led performances by the Tanglewood Opera Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra, the National Symphony of Ukraine, the Matsumoto Festival of Japan, the New York City Opera, and the Juilliard Symphony among others. In addition to being former faculty at Tufts University and Northeastern University, Rose has worked with students across the U.S. at institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University, MIT, New England Conservatory, and the University of California at San Diego. He is a visionary curator of music, inaugurating the Ditson Festival of Music at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art and programming three seasons for the Fromm Concerts at Harvard series. 

In the coming seasons, Gil Rose leads Odyssey Opera in a concert performance of three one-act operas by Rachmaninoff and brings John Corigliano and Mark Adamo’s new opera The Lord of Cries to Boston audiences. In addition, he and BMOP will travel to Carnegie Hall for the orchestra’s debut performance and culmination of their 25th season, and BMOP and Odyssey will co-produce Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom, the second opera in As Told By: History, Race, and Justice on the Opera Stage, a five-year initiative highlighting Black composers and vital figures of Black liberation and thought. 

September 2023



Current & Upcoming Performances

Upcoming Performance Schedule Coming Soon

Past Performances

Past Performance Schedule Coming Soon

BMOP is led with the vigor and commitment that can almost be taken for granted under the visionary leadership of Gil Rose, here joined by the forces of Odyssey Opera. The recording is clear and spacious. – Peter Burwasser, The Abso!ute Sound on Anthony Davis’ X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, August 2023

Conductor Gil Rose did an admirable job with the huge forces involved, including a lovely children’s chorus and the large Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in the pit. – Michael Rabice, Broadway World on La Fura dels Baus’ Carmina Burana, July 31

[Vanessa Schukis and Anna Baty] could have no better companions than the Boston Modern Orchestra Project with Gil Rose directing. – Christopher Cook, BBC Music Magazine on Lee Hoiby’s The Italian Lesson, July 2023

“Gil Rose and BMOP now give us three works fresh to the catalogue… Each is punctiliously tracked, section by section, movement by movement… The sound is spectacularly clear – no compromise here. – Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International on Carlos Surinach’s Acrobats of God, June 2023

This new recording by Odyssey Opera, taken from a 2018 performance that was the work’s first hearing in the US, offers a fuller text… and far better orchestral playing under Gil Rose. – David Shengold, Opera Magazine on Charles Gounod’s La Reine de Saba, June 2023

“…Gil Rose and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project animate all three scores to vivid theatrical life…” – Michael Schulman, The WholeNote Magazine on Carlos Surinach’s Acrobats of God: The Owl and The Pussycat, May 2023

Gil Rose has a special knack for finding music that has somehow slipped through the cracks. – Andrew Farach-Colton, Gramophone on Carlos Surinach’s Acrobats of God, May 2023

Reviews of classical music concerts generally serve two purposes: Those who went can compare their observations with those of critics, and those who didn’t… You missed out on some of the finest orchestral playing heard in the city this year. – Seth Colter Walls, The New York Times on BMOP 25 Years: Play it Again at Carnegie Hall, April 2023

Mr. Rose managed to tame his orchestra. Not tame as chasten. But tame like a whip‑lashing tiger‑tamer who knows–as did these three composers–that beneath the surface of life and music is both radiance and rage. – Harry Rolnick, ConcertoNet on BMOP 25 Years: Play it Again at Carnegie Hall, April 2023

The singers and orchestra turn in an idiomatic and stylistic gem and the opera is unforgettable and vital all at once. – Grego Applegate Edwards, Classical Modern Music Review on Anthony Davis’s X: The Life and Times of Malcom X, March 2023

The company’s choir contributes to the lyrical force of a score defended by Gil Rose and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, which confirms that opera, like cinema, is capable of conveying strong stories. – Gilles Charlassier, Jim le Pariser on Tobias Picker’s Awakenings, March 2023

Under Gil Rose, BMOP’s orchestra and chorus offer a vivid rendering of the score, their efforts buttressed by an “improviser ensemble” that helps connect X securely to the realm of jazz. – Fred Cohn, Opera News on Anthony Davis’s X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, March 2023

The music itself, conducted by Odyssey artistic and general director Gil Rose, was rooted in a persistent tone played in a heartbeat-steady rhythm… – A.Z. Madonna, Boston Globe on Tobias Picker’s Awakenings, February 2023

Gil Rose led the Boston Modern Orchestra Project in the pit with his customary vigor. – Jonathan Blumhofer, Boston Classical Review on Tobias Picker’s Awakenings, February 2023

Gil Rose, quite comfortable with experimentation, showed his versatility of style and sophistication. – Stephanie Oestreich, The Boston Musical Intelligencer on Tobias Picker’s Awakenings, February 2023

Restored to fullness, there is a sweep and grandeur to the music that occasionally flags but is largely irresistible. – David Weininger, Boston Globe on Camille Saint-Saëns’ Henry VIII, December 2022

In which a young Malcolm Little — not yet surnamed X — receives a tour of Boston while listeners get a sense of what makes Davis one of today’s great opera composers… – Seth Colter Walls, NYT on Anthony Davis’s X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, December 2022

X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X is now even more relevant than when first presented and can legitimately be regarded as one of the most significant American operas of the last half-century. Needless to say, Rose and the BMOP are to be applauded for casting newfound attention on the work. – Textura on Anthony Davis’s X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, December 2022

Rose, the orchestra, chorus and vocal soloists seemed tireless, especially bass Mikhail Svetlov in his extraordinarily complex and nuanced 20-minute monologue as the miserly baron. – Lloyd Schwarz, WBUR on Troika, December 2022

Artistic director and conductor Gil Rose joined forces with BMOP… for a powerful revival of Anthony Davis’s “X: The Life and Times of Malcom X.” This was a fuller, more complete staged version, with a stellar cast… – Lloyd Schwartz, WBUR on Anthony Davis’s X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X, December 2022

“X,”… drew a riveting portrait of an entire era with the particular dimensionality and psychological shadings that only opera can bring. – Jeremy Eichler, Boston Globe on X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X, December 2022

[BMOP, X] recording is fantastic. It is just tremendous… It was a fabulous cast and I couldn’t be happier with the result. – Anthony Davis on Rob Shepherd’s Post Genre Interview on X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X, December 2022.

… this new recording with Odyssey Opera and Boston Modern Orchestra Project led by Gil Rose, is a little weightier, benefits from a tighter libretto, and is generally more involving. – Clive Paget, Musical America on X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X, November 2022

“Leave it to Gil Rose, Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Odyssey Opera to present one of the most important operas of the last decade.” – Susan Hall, Berkshire Fine Arts on John Corigliano’s Lord of Cries, 2022.

Gil Rose, gave a vigorous and often incandescent account which matched the work of the excellent vocalists… – Brian Schuth, The Boston Music Intelligencer on John Corigliano’s Lord of Cries, November 2022

Gil Rose and the BMOP/Odyssey orchestra and chorus did full justice to the pathos, violence, and sly humor of Corigliano’s writing… – Jeffrey Gantz, The Boston Globe on John Corigliano’s Lord of Cries, November 2022

The orchestral contributions… were as refined and secure as this ensemble has ever delivered. – Jonathan Blumhofer, Boston Classical Review on John Corigliano’s Lord of Cries, November 2022

Rose conjured gorgeous playing from every featured section of the Odyssey Opera Orchestra… – Harry Rose, Parterre Box on Rachmaninoff’s Troika, September 2022

Rose’s sense of drama held it all together; there wasn’t a dead moment the entire afternoon. – Jeffrey Gantz, Boston Globe on Rachmaninoff’s Troika, September 2022

There can be no praise high enough for what Gil Rose and his inspired forces attained in this remarkable realization of extraordinary music. – John Ehrlich, The Boston Musical Intelligencer on Rachmaninoff’s Troika, September 2022

Walter Piston won’t win any awards for expressing geysers of passion in his music, but he was a true craftsman and these four relatively brief works (the Concerto for Orchestra is the longest, at 14 minutes) have plenty of musical meat on their bones. The Boston Modern Orchestra Project, as usual, plays them very well under Gil Rose’s leadership, and the engineering is excellent. A fine release for collectors of good American orchestral music. – Dave Hurwitz, Classics Today on Piston Walker’s Concerto for Orchestra, March 29, 2022

Deservedly awarded the 2020 Grammy for ‘Best Opera Recording,’ Fantastic Mr. Fox is the latest feather in the cap of BMOP and its conductor Gil Rose. —Textura on Tobias Picker’s: Fantastic Mr. Fox (BMOP/sound 1064, 2020)

Once again Boston audiences are indebted to the questing imagination of Gil Rose. — Steven Ledbetter, The Boston Musical Intelligencer on Pacini’s Maria, Regina d’Inghilterra, November 2019

…25 Best Classical Music tracks of 2019. —Seth Colter Walls, New York Times on David Sanford: Black Noise (BMOP/sound 1063, 11/2019)

Rose captured a sly wit by coaxing playing well attuned to the buoyancy and grace of once popular musical styles — Aaron Keebaugh, Boston Classical Review, October 2019

Gil Rose leading the Odyssey Opera Chorus and Orchestra, it was one for the history books. —The South Shore Critic on Saint-Saën’s Henry VIII, September 2019

Gil Rose appeared in total control of his sizeable performing forces and provided some thrilling orchestral climax’s. – Ed Tapper, Edge Medias Network on Strauss’s Die Aegyptische Helena, April 2019

Gil Rose led the small but energetic orchestra with aplomb and accustomed self-assurance, once again Rose has given energy and elan to a hidden gem of the operatic canon. – John W. Erlich, American Record Guide on Gluck’s Paride ed Elena, February 2019

And of course, it should almost go without saying that Maestro Rose once again pulled a performance out of his orchestra that perfectly encapsulated the spirit of fun that surrounds the work. – Arturo Fernandez, Schmopera on Gounod’s Le Médecin Malgre Lui, November, 2018