Founder, Artistic Director, and Principal Conductor of The Mendelssohn Project
New York-born conductor Stephen Somary makes numerous guest appearances with leading orchestras of the world, including the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Slovak Philharmonic, and the Thüringen Philharmonic. He has also dedicated a large portion of his time over the past seventeen years to The Mendelssohn Project, an organization he founded, and of which he is Artistic Director. This corporation, with branches in New York and Germany has researched the vast amount of unpublished music, letters and artworks by Mendelssohn and educates the public about, and introduces world to, these lost masterpieces.
In May 2014, Maestro Somary completed a three-year term as Music Director of Amor Artis, an elite chorus and chamber orchestra in New York City, during which time he conducted more than 80 works ranging from the Renaissance through every era up to our own time. In keeping with Felix Mendelssohnís philosophy, Stephen Somary strongly believes in promoting talented modern composers, and commissioned three new compositions during his years with Amor Artis. Other highlights from his tenure included performances of Bachís B Minor Mass, Byrdís The Great Service, Rossiniís Petite Messe Solennelle, Stravinskyís Mass, Mendelssohnís rarely-heard Te Deum in D Major, and the Mozart Requiem.
An acclaimed interpreter of American repertoire, Stephen Somaryís discography includes a recording on the Claves Records label with the Nurnberg Symphony Orchestra of Ives's Symphony No. 2, Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and the world premiere recording of Cowbellís Symphonic Set. Le Monde de la Mosque describes this recording as: "A vitally important disc . . . The Ives proves a worthy comparison to the three leading versions - two by Bernstein and one by Tilson-Thomas." Somary has also made three recordings of the music of the American composer David Chesky with the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg-Berlin and the Slovak Philharmonic: "Excellent playing and recording" (Gramophone), "Well played and beautifully recorded" (Billboard). Another CD for Claves Records with the Thüringen Philharmonic features Elgar's Symphony No. 1: " . . . a gifted young American, Stephen Somary . . . paces the entire work in a manner which marks him as both a born conductor and a serious, dedicated musician . . . I should not be surprised if his future career establishes him as one of the most admired conductors of his generation." (Musical Opinion, London).
Stephen Somary's early career was shaped by studies with Henry Bloch, Eiji Oue at Boston University, Norman Del Mar at the Royal College of Music, London, and with Leonard Bernstein, for whom he served as Music Assistant from 1984 until 1990 and as Composition Assistant for Bernstein's Arias and Barcarolles and the revisions of Songfest.