Marcelo Lehninger

The League of American Orchestras presented Marcelo Lehninger, Music Director, New West Symphony Orchestra (Los Angeles), and Associate Conductor, Boston Symphony Orchestra, with the Helen M. Thompson Award last week at its National Conference in Seattle.

Lehninger was selected for his artistic excellence, exceptional musical leadership, and commitment to organizational vitality. The award recognizes a music director in an early career stage who works with a smaller-budget orchestra in the U.S./Canada.

“Having had the opportunity to see Marcelo Lehninger at work, I experienced first-hand the talent and musical leadership that have earned him the Helen M. Thompson Award,” said League President and CEO Jesse Rosen. “We’re pleased to be able to continue bestowing this important award, just as we support the many other professional development activities for conductors, composers, managers, and others working in orchestras today."

Marcelo Lehninger’s recent and upcoming guest conducting include engagements with the Chicago, Houston, Seattle, Baltimore, Toronto, Florida, Louisville, Omaha, and Chautauqua Symphonies, and the Calgary Philharmonic.  In Europe, he has enjoyed return engagements with the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, debuts with the Lucerne Symphony, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, and the Slovenian Philharmonic; led a recording project with the Orchestre National de France; and will assist Mariss Jansons on tour with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra this summer.  He has led all of the major orchestras in Brazil, and recently spent a week working with the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra.

The Helen M. Thompson Award is given by the League to orchestra managers and music directors in alternate years.  The award was created in 1981 to celebrate the life and work of Helen M. Thompson, who dramatically advanced and promoted the cause of the symphony orchestra in the United States.  Beginning in 1943, her 27 years of inspired leadership and service to the League encouraged smaller-budget orchestras to develop high standards and to serve their communities well.  The award particularly recognizes her support and encouragement of managers and music directors early in their careers.  Eligible nominees must hold the top managerial or music director position at a League of American Orchestras member orchestra with no more than 5 years combined experience in a top position.  A panel of music professionals selects the winner. Previous winners include Mei-Ann Chen (2012) and Joana Carneiro (2010).

Learn more about Marcelo Lehninger
Learn more about the Helen M. Thompson Award