"A natural talent..." Jukka-Pekka Saraste
American conductor Caleb Young is currently the Associate Conductor of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Young is one of the most exciting emerging artists of today, and continues to build a reputation as an outstanding interpreter of American music.
Mentored by legendary Finnish conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Young connects his rigorous training in the European classical tradition with a passion for the viscerality of American music, resulting in daring and fresh renditions of both. He commands a breadth of repertoire, able to tap into the full spectrum of American composers. Indeed, under Young's baton, the works of Copland, Bernstein, Jennifer Higdon, and Jessie Montgomery receive artistic treatment equal to those of Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Mahler, Stravinsky, and Shostakovich.
Young debuted with the Van Cliburn Competition as its Cover Conductor in 2018, beginning a relationship that continues with a scheduled 2022 return to the storied piano competition in the same role. He has directed a number of the world’s premier orchestras, including the Oregon Symphony, Russian National Orchestra, Toledo Symphony, Columbus Symphony, and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra; as cover conductor, he has served the Cincinnati Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Atlanta Opera, Portland Symphony, and the National Music Festival.
Young’s sensitive and dynamic approach combined with his exemplary technique has earned him a number of additional accolades in Europe, most notably the Ansbacher Fellowship for Young Conductors Prize in 2016, given by the Salzburg Festival and members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. More recently, he was among a handpicked group of conductors invited to attend the LEAD! Foundation Academy's conductors' masterclass in Finland, a mentorship program for “the next generation of leaders in classical music” led by legendary conductors Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sakari Oramo and others. Young is currently being closely mentored by Saraste, and has been reinvited to conduct at the Fiskars Summer Festival, Finland, in 2021.
During his tenure as Associate Conductor to the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Young quickly developed a track record for attracting new, younger audiences. In addition to already conducting nearly 200 concerts, Young pioneered “Music and Mixology”, a series that engaged young professionals using orchestral music. In 2018, his efforts earned an Emerging Artist Award, an honour bestowed to the region’s “arts and cultural leaders” by Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne—one of the oldest nonprofit artistic funding initiatives in the United States.
Originally from North Carolina, Young holds a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the famed Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University; his former pedagogues include David Effron, Arthur Fagen, Demondrae Thurman, and John Ratledge. As founder of the KammerMahler chamber ensemble, he recently led the group in a world premiere recording of Klaus Simon's arrangement of Mahler Symphony No. 9 for 16 instruments.
As society faced the isolation wrought by the COVID pandemic, Young took to the airwaves, beginning Classically Versed with Caleb Young which now airs on National Public Radio across the United States. A weekly show devoted to classical music, Classically Versed listeners often hear fresh experiences, as Young’s radio programming matches his conducting selections: great, yet often overlooked works and composers alongside traditional repertoire.
Young wears Coregami exclusively in performance.