Argentinian-Mexican conductor Alex Amsel has quickly established himself among cultural institutions as a young leader in symphonic, opera, pops, and chamber repertoire, as well as a music educator for students of all ages.
Mr. Amsel will serve as the Resident Conductor for Houston Grand Opera during the 2022-23 season working on La Traviata and premiering Jeremy Howard Beck’s Another City. He also joins the Elgin Symphony Orchestra to conduct a program of Carlos Simon: Fate Now Conquers, Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No. 3 featuring violinist Blake Pouliot, and Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4. Mr. Amsel is currently a finalist in consideration to become the new music director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra.
Serving as Assistant Conductor at the Fort Worth Symphony since 2019, Mr. Amsel can be seen this summer leading concerts that highlight film scores of John Williams and Nicholas Hooper, as well as an all-American July 4th evening featuring American film scores and works by Jessie Montgomery, Florence Price, and Leonard Bernstein. He also appears at the Round Top Festival Institute conducting a program that includes Verdi: La Forza del Destino, Overture, Tchaikovsky: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D, op. 35 featuring violinist Regis Pasquier, and Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade.
Contemporary music is at the forefront in Mr. Amsel's musical journey as he has premiered contemporary works both as conductor and instrumentalist. He has led recording sessions of world premieres at his alma mater, Peabody Conservatory, as well as at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. He continues to be an advocate for living composers, with an emphasis on underrepresented composers, by programming works by Carlos Simon, Jessie Montgomery, Eleanor Alberga, Victor Agudelo, and Carlos Zamora, among others. Mr. Amsel was chosen to work as an Associate at the Cabrillo Music Festival with Cristian Măcelaru and was subsequently invited to return as the Assistant Conductor of the festival for the 2020 season.
Mr. Amsel was selected for the prestigious Aspen Conducting Academy in the summers of 2020 and 2021 where he worked closely with conductor Robert Spano. He has served as Cover Conductor for the Dallas Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and Baltimore Symphony. Previously, Mr. Amsel has held positions with the Fort Worth Symphony (Conducting Fellow), National Repertory Orchestra (Assistant Conductor), and Philadelphia International Music Festival (Resident Faculty Conductor).
As a bassoonist, Mr. Amsel has appeared with such orchestras as the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra and New World Symphony. He has held positions with the Boston Philharmonic, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Breckenridge Music Festival, Austin Lyric Opera, Symphony of Southeast Texas, and Orchestra of Indian Hill. He has been a featured performer and taught masterclasses through these organizations, and had an active private bassoon studio of 30 weekly students in Austin and Houston, Texas.
Mr. Amsel completed his studies under the tutelage of Marin Alsop at the Peabody Conservatory as her Graduate Assistant for his Masters in Music in Orchestral Conducting. While at Peabody, he was appointed Choir Master and Assistant Conductor of both the Opera Theatre and Choruses, where he led performances of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and Massenet’s Cherubin. Mr. Amsel has also worked closely with Hugh Wolff, Larry Rachleff, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya. He has appeared in masterclasses with David Zinman, David Effron, Nicholas McGeegan, and Hannu Lintu. Mr. Amsel also holds additional degrees from New England Conservatory and The University of Texas in Austin.