*Maestro Julien Benichou, Conductor

Conductor Julien Benichou is making his mark as a champion for the future of classical music. Currently, Benichou is the Artistic Director of the Washington Opera Society (WOS), and Music Director of the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO). In 2023, he became Music Director of the Accord Symphony in Washington, DC. 

Before coming to the United States, Benichou studied harmony and counterpoint with Pierre Doury at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. Benichou received a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Institute and earned a Master’s Degree from Northwestern University. His primary teachers have been Victor Yampolsky, Gustav Meier, and Jorma Panula.  

As a guest conductor, Benichou has garnered high acclaim through his work with the New York City Ballet, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s collaborations with Mobtown Modern Synchronicity. Recent guest engagements have included conducting the Portuguese Philharmonic at the Champs-Elysees Theater in Paris, the Dallas Symphony, the Pasdeloup Orchestra in Paris, and the Stellenbosch Music Festival. Upcoming concerts include a return engagement for Christmas with Tim Janis at Carnegie Hall, a Kennedy Center debut with the Accord Symphony.

As Music Director of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony for 17 seasons, Benichou dramatically raised the professional quality of the ensemble. His leadership of the MSO led to collaborations with Stefan Jackiw, Kurt Nikkanen, Leon Fleisher, Arnaud Sussmann, and Tine Thing Helseth. Benichou has also found great success in conducting operatic productions. With the Washington Opera Society, Benichou recently concluded productions of The Magic Flute, Aida, and Carmen in Washington, DC.

In 2017, Benichou premiered “Way of the Rain” at Carnegie Hall, a climate change awareness project featuring Robert Redford and Vice President Al Gore. A repeat performance was held in 2021 in Monte-Carlo, in the presence of his Highness Albert II, Prince of Monaco. Benichou serves on the advisory board of the Way of the Rain foundation.   

Benichou has also received numerous commissions for theater, film, and concert music, most recently arrangements for French rock musician Arthur H. Julien Benichou is the lead conductor and creative partner for Environmental Symphony:The Movement. Benichou brings natural musicality, infectious energy, and a creative approach that is fostering the next generation of classical musicians.