Tristan Rais-Sherman is the recently appointed Assistant Conductor of the New York Youth Symphony and will begin his duties in the upcoming season. He is passionate about creating inspiring musical experiences for young people, as evidenced by his recent tenure 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 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 recently 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. He has also been selected to participate in the Seventh International St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic Masterclass with Alexander Polishchuck and Sian Edwards in September 2015.
Tristan recently appeared with the Berlin Sinfonietta in the International Masterclass Berlin in May 2015. Tristan has participated at the Ithaca International Conducting Masterclass with David Effron in the spring of 2013, as well as 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 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.