Jed Gaylin

Music Director & Conductor, Hopkins Symphony Orchestra

Conductor; oversees all artistic elements of HSO

“Generous” is the word listeners and performers use time and again to describe conductor Jed Gaylin’s approach to the orchestra, the score, and the audience. His joyful abandon and probing intellect together create powerful programs, compelling interpretations, and evenings that are fresh and exuberant. George Szell said, “In music one must think with the heart and feel with the mind,” a maxim Jed Gaylin embodies abundantly and passionately.

Orchestra members throughout the world, soloists, and opera singers often recount how Jed Gaylin’s rehearsals and performances elicit their very best, not only individually but collectively. He revels in making connections not only within a piece, but also between seemingly disparate and wide-ranging works to sculpt a concert of surprising, captivating juxtapositions. His dedication to exploring the music’s fullest potential in a collaborative spirit reaches beyond the stage to draw the audience into the creative act. Listeners feel far more than just welcomed by words from the podium—they feel engaged as participants in a wordless musical conversation that is spontaneous, big-hearted, and eloquent.

As Music Director, Jed Gaylin leads Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, Bay Atlantic Symphony and Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra with the same creative depth and an open spirit that he brings to the podium. He makes his home in Baltimore where he lives with his wife, poet and essayist Lia Purpura.

He has been Music Director of Hopkins Symphony since 1993 during which time the orchestra has grown in size, prominence, and artistry into one of the country’s most accomplished university orchestras. With regular performances in Shriver Hall and the Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith Center, HSO boasts an extensive roster that fills out two large-scale orchestras. The high standards of the orchestra and Jed Gaylin’s belief in art’s ability to knit together and ignite new energy in our communities have resulted in collaborations with arts groups throughout the city, as well as with other non-profit and civic organizations. Pre-concert lectures, which pull from JHU faculty members as well as other cultural figures in Baltimore, are lively discussions. Guests range from astro-physicists to curators, composers to historians. Hosted by Jed Gaylin, these animated presentations feature the cultural milieu in which the wide range of music HSO performs has arisen. A free concert for children and their families, which Mr. Gaylin scripts and and narrates, has become an event eagerly anticipated each year in the Baltimore community

Bay Atlantic Symphony is not only consistently praised for its astonishing level of artistry and precision, it is also viewed throughout New Jersey as a model for how professional orchestras can become a vital focus and source of identity in their communities. In 2012, Jed Gaylin was named Artist in Residence at Stockton University. This position is a part of an innovative model in which Bay-Atlantic Symphony is integrated into the music curriculum.

Mr. Gaylin was appointed Music Director of Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra (WV) in 2012. In addition, he served as the Director of Orchestras at the International Music Festival and Summer Course of Cervera (Spain) and was a regular conductor at Opera Vivente in Baltimore. His numerous guest appearances include St. Petersburg State Symphony, National Film and Radio Philharmonic (Beijing, China), Shanghai Conservatory Orchestra, Eastman School of Music, Bucharest Radio Orchestra, Academia del Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona, Spain), Eastman School Music Broadband Ensemble, among many others. He has performed with such soloists as Hilary Hahn, Yuja Wang, Eugenia Zukerman, Shai Wosner, and Stefan Jackiw.

Jed Gaylin’s television and radio broadcasts include National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition, Voice of America, Bucharest Radio Orchestra, and the National Radio and Film Philharmonic (Beijing). He has been aired in the US on WWFM in New Jersey and WYPR in Baltimore.

Mr. Gaylin earned both a Bachelor of Music in piano and a Master of Music in conducting at the Oberlin Conservatory, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting at the Peabody Conservatory. He attended the Aspen Music Festival as a Conducting Fellow. Among other honors, he has received a National Endowment for the Arts grant and the Presser Music Award. His conducting teachers have included Frederik Prausnitz, Leonard Slatkin, Jahja Ling, Murry Sidlin, Paul Vermel, and Michel Singher, and, for piano, Lydia Frumkin.

Find out more about Jed Gaylin at