Tristan Rais-Sherman is in the second year of his tenure as Assistant Conductor and David Alan Miller Fellow of the New York Youth Symphony. He has also recently been appointed as Assistant Conductor and Cello coach of the Stamford Young Artists Philharmonic. He is passionate about creating inspiring musical experiences for young people, as evidenced by his tenure from 2013-2015 as Music Director of the Michigan Pops Orchestra—the United States’ oldest collegiate Pops orchestra, and one of Ann Arbor’s most cherished musical organizations. Under his direction, the orchestra performed a wide variety of music—ranging from Mendelssohn and Prokofiev to Game of Thrones and Video Games Live.
Tristan’s career is currently taking shape. He recently travelled to Vänersborg, Sweden to lead a performance of Stravinsky’s L’histoire du Soldat in the Aurora Festival under the guidance of Lief Segertam and Johannes Gustavsson. In December, he will lead a string orchestra performance as part as the Hilltop Chamber Music Series. In January, he will travel to Denver to conduct the Lamont Symphony Orchestra and participate in a masterclass led by Donald Schliecher and Lawrence Golan. In the summer of 2016, Tristan was a conducting fellow at the prestigious Dartington Summer School in Totnes, UK. He has also participated in the Seventh International St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic Masterclass with Alexander Polishchuck and Sian Edwards, the International Masterclass Berlin with the Berlin Sinfonietta in May 2015, the Ithaca International Conducting Masterclass with David Effron in the spring of 2013, and the Medomak Conductor’s Retreat with Kenneth Kiesler in 2012. He has served as an Apprentice Conductor with the New York Youth Symphony and has also audited masterclasses taught by Larry Rachleff, Carl Tapilow, Carl St. Clair, Gustav Meier, and Alexander Polishchuck.
Tristan graduated from the University of Michigan with a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting as a student of Kenneth Kiesler. While at Michigan, he performed with the University Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestras on the stage of Hill Auditorium, and served as Assistant Conductor. He led premieres of music by Keith Allegretti and Sam Saunders and organized a performance of music by Brahms, Haydn, and Rameau. Since completing his graduate studies at the University of Michigan, Tristan has appeared as guest conductor of Amare Cantare, based in Durham, New Hampshire.
Tristan brings a wide array of musical experiences to the fore as a musician—from performing as a cellist with Canada’s award-winning Baroque orchestra Tafelmusik, to conducting orchestras from Berlin to St.Petersburg, from playing Javanese Gamelan in Amsterdam to playing guitar in garage bands, and performing Steve Reich’s Double Sextet in a night club. No matter what the situation—whether on the podium or at the cello—Tristan approaches music making with unique intensity, joy, creativity, and a sincere desire to transform the world for the better.
Tristan received his Bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance from Ithaca College in 2012. While pursuing his studies there, Tristan participated in a wide variety of ensembles and solo performances of music both very old and very new, and everything in between. He spent a semester in Amsterdam studying at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. As a cellist he has attended festivals such as the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer and Winter Institutes, New Music on the Point, the Texas Music Festival, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.