Honorary Chair, New York: Seattle Symphony Conductor Laureate
Gerard Schwarz serves as Music Director of the All-Star Orchestra, an ensemble of top musicians from America's leading orchestras featured in a new television series airing throughout the United States on public television. As in baseball, Schwarz has created an "all-star" team of top musical athletes for an eight-episode series created to encourage a greater understanding and enjoyment of classical music. Schwarz also serves as Music Director of the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina and Conductor Laureate of the Seattle Symphony.
In his nearly five decades as a respected classical musician and conductor, Schwarz has received hundreds of honors and accolades including three Emmy Awards, 13 GRAMMY nominations, seven ASCAP Awards and numerous Stereo Review and Ovation Awards. He holds the Ditson Conductor's Award from Columbia University, was the first American named Conductor of the Year by Musical America and has received numerous honorary doctorates. Most recently, the City of Seattle recognized his outstanding achievements and named the street alongside Benaroya Hall "Gerard Schwarz Place," and the State of Washington gave him the honorary title of "General" for his extraordinary contributions as an artist and citizen.
Jerry has conducted three All-State, two All-Northwest and one All-National Honor Orchestras for WMEA/NAfME. In February 2013, he became the first honorary member inducted into the WMEA Hall of Fame.