Jorge Mester, Faculty

Jorge Mester is recognized throughout the world as a preeminent conductor who brings excellence and prominence to every organization he leads. He serves as music director of The Louisville Orchestra and is Conductor laureate of the Aspen Music Festival. During his 21-year affiliation with the Aspen Music Festival, Mester helped solidify the organization’s reputation for recognizing and nurturing emerging world-class musicians. Previously he was artistic director of Mexico City’s leading orchestra, Orquesta Filarmonica de la Ciudad de Mexico.

Mester’s passion for opera has also made him sought-after in opera houses around the world. He has conducted numerous productions for the New York City Opera, the Sydney Opera, the Spoleto Festival and the Washington National Opera. Mester has also made numerous recordings, including 72 with The Louisville Orchestra.

He has mentored such internationally acclaimed artists as Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Midori, Renee Fleming, Cho-Liang Lin, Aprille Milo and Robert McDuffie. He recently served as artistic director of the Young Musicians Foundatio
n and its Debut Orchestra, one of the nation’s top pre-professional training orchestras.
Mester was director of Juilliard’s conducting department, led concerts and operas at the USC Thornton School of Music and directed many high-profile conducting workshops around the country, including an advanced-level conducting workshop in Naples. Generations of conductors have looked to Mester for instruction, including James Conlon, Dennis Russell Davies, Andreas Delfs, JoAnn Falletta and John Nelson.

Of Hungarian descent and born and raised in Mexico City, Mester is an accomplished violist who performed with the Beaux-Arts Quartet for several years before focusing exclusively on conducting.