Solti Foundation Names Conductors Ankush Kumar Bahl and Keitaro Harada Among its Recipients

Earlier this May, The Solti Foundation U.S. announced the largest number of recipients to receive a Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award by the organization in one year, surpassing last year’s nine awards and bringing the number of such grants given by the Foundation in its twelve year history to 46. This year’s recipients hold positions throughout the United States with orchestra and opera posts in Arizona, California, DC, Iowa, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Philadelphia, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  Among the recipients are conductors Ankush Kumar Bahl and Keitaro Harada.  We have witnessed Bahl on numerous occasions conducting the National Symphony Orchestra and have followed Harada’s musical activities, most recently at the Richmond Symphony Orchestra.

Ankush Kumar Bahl

Having just completed a four-year tenure as Assistant Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. (under Christoph Eschenbach), Ankush Kumar Bahl has recently made appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the National Opera Orchestre de Nancy, the Copenhagen Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Indianapolis Symphony, among others in the U.S. and Europe.Ankush This season, Bahl will expand his international presence with debuts in Canada, Mexico and South America. This summer, he appears once again with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and makes his debut with an all-Mendelssohn program at the Chautauqua Institute in upstate New York. Bahl is the proud recipient of 2011, 2013 and 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards, as well as a 2009 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship (Leipzig). He was discovered in 2009 by former New York Philharmonic Music Director, Kurt Masur, and soon after was hired as an assistant conductor to Masur at the Orchestre National de France, the Royal Concertgebouw, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. He also has been a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival.

Keitaro Harada

Currently in his first season as Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra, Keitaro Harada is also Associate Conductor of the Arizona Opera, and Associate Conductor of the Richmond Symphony OrcKeitarahestra (Virginia). Upcoming guest engagements include the 2016 Pacific Music Festival by invitation of Valery Gergiev, his conducting debut with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in the fall, and leading the world premiere performances of Riders of the Purple Sage for Arizona Opera in 2017. Mr. Harada also makes his conducting debut with Boise Philharmonic, West Virginia Symphony and South Bend Symphony Orchestra. Recent appearances include debuts with the New Japan Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and performances with Arizona Opera, the Tucson, Phoenix, Virginia, and Sierra Vista symphonies, and Orquesta Filarmónica de Sonora. A recipient of a 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, In 2013, Harada was selected by the League of American Orchestras for the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview. In 2012, he was a semi-finalist at the 9th Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors in Poland. In 2011, Harada was one of ten semi-finalists invited by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony to participate in the First Chicago Symphony Orchestra Solti International Conducting Competition Early in his career, he served as Music Director of the Phoenix Youth Symphony.

Check out the remaining recipients:

Penny Van Horn, Solti Foundation U.S. Board Chair, congratulated the 2016 recipients: Christopher Allen, John L. Magro Resident Conductor, Cincinnati Opera, and Associate Conductor, Los Angeles Opera; Gene Chang, Assistant Conductor, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director, Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra; Ankush Kumar Bahl, Assistant Conductor, National Symphony Orchestra (four year tenure just completed); Joshua Gersen, Assistant Conductor, New York Philharmonic, and Music Director, New York Youth Symphony; Daniel Black, Assistant Conductor, and Rae and Ed Schollmaier Foundation Chair, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director of the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra; Keitaro Harada, Associate Conductor, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Associate Conductor, Arizona Opera, and Associate Conductor, Richmond (VA) Symphony Orchestra; Yaniv Dinur, Assistant Conductor, The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; Stefano Sarzani, Associate Conductor, Des Moines Metro Opera; Stilian Kirov, Music Director, Symphony in C (Philadelphia, PA), and Music Director, Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra; Michelle Merrill, Assistant Conductor and Phillip and Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador, Detroit Symphony Orchestra; and Sameer Patel, Assistant Conductor, The San Diego Symphony Orchestra.



About The Solti Foundation U.S.
Now in its twelfth year of assisting outstanding young U.S. conductors to further develop their talent and careers, The Solti Foundation U.S. is the foremost organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to helping young conductors.  Established in 2000 to honor the memory of Sir Georg Solti by lending significant support to career-ready young American musicians, in 2004, the Foundation concentrated the focus of its award program to exclusively assist talented young American conductors early in their professional careers (its original mission was of a more general arts nature).

The Foundation endeavors to seek out those musicians who have chosen to follow a path similar to that followed by Sir Georg himself. In keeping with the spirit of Sir Georg’s active approach to his career, young conductors must apply to be considered for the awards.


For further details on The Solti Foundation U.S., its past awardees, their biographical information, the Foundation’s newsletter, as well as guidelines for the upcoming 2017 Awards, and a downloadable application form, please visit the Foundation’s website at:


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