Marcelo Lehninger, ARtistic Director

Portrait of a smiling Marcelo Lehninger, Artistic Director.

Photo by Andy Terzes

Marcelo Lehninger (pronounced Mar-SELLO LEN-een-gurr) was appointed Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony in 2016, and his appointment was recently extended through 2030. In 2018, he brought the orchestra to Carnegie Hall, its first performance at the famed venue in 13 years. He previously served as Music Director of the New West Symphony in Los Angeles, for which the League of American Orchestras awarded him the Helen H. Thompson Award for Emerging Music Directors. For five years, Marcelo served as Assistant and then Associate Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In that capacity, he substituted on several occasions for Music Director James Levine, including premiering on short notice a commissioned work by Harrison Birtwistle both in Boston and in New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Lehninger’s most recent and upcoming engagements include work with the Sarasota Orchestra, North Carolina and Tulsa Symphonies, and San Antonio Philharmonic; Peninsula Music Festival, Prague Philharmonia (Czech Republic), MAV Symphony (Hungary), and the Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra and Minas Gerais Philharmonic (Brazil).

As a guest conductor, Mr. Lehninger has led some of the leading orchestras in the United States, including the Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Houston, Detroit, Baltimore, Seattle symphonies; the Florida and Louisville Orchestras; and the Rochester, Orlando, New Mexico, and Colorado Springs Philharmonics. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2011 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
European engagements include the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Lucerne Symphony, regular visits to the Slovenian Philharmonic, including on tour to Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, and a tour with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra assisting Mariss Jansons.
Mr. Lehninger was Music Advisor of The Orchestra of the Americas for the 2007-08 season. In summer of 2008, he toured with the orchestra in South America, conducting concerts in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. He has led all of the top orchestras in Brazil, and served as Associate Conductor of the Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra, where he returns regularly as guest conductor.

He has served as Kurt Masur’s assistant with the Orchestre National de France (during their residency at the Musikverein in Vienna), Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, and the New York Philharmonic.

Before dedicating his career to conducting, Mr. Lehninger studied violin and piano. He holds a Master’s degree from the Conductors Institute at New York’s Bard College, where he studied conducting under Harold Farberman and composition with Laurence Wallach.

A dual citizen of Brazil and Germany, Lehninger is the son of pianist Sônia Goulart and violinist Erich Lehninger. He is married to Laura Anne Krech and has two daughters.