About

Jesse Portrait

Conductor and composer Jesse Brault studied orchestral conducting at the Juilliard School with Maestros Alan Gilbert and James Ross. After making his New York City debut in 2015, he went on to conduct several concerts with the Juilliard Conductors’ Lab Orchestra as a student. While at Juilliard, he worked with such distinguished conductors as Bernard Haitink, Gianandrea Noseda, Fabio Luisi, David Zinman, and James Gaffigan.

Making his Carnegie Hall debut in 2019, Jesse appeared with Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect, leading a performance of John Adam’s Chamber Symphony. He has also appeared with the Orlando Philharmonic, accompanying their music director Eric Jacobsen in a performance of Dvorak’s Silent Woods.

A composer himself, Jesse is particularly passionate for conducting new music. He appeared at National Sawdust in 2018 leading newly composed opera scenes by Joshua Getman and Sam Wu, and also at Juilliard’s Focus! 2016 and 2018 festivals, conducting music of Milton Babbitt and young Chinese composer Liu Yuhui. In 2018, he conducted Gubaidulina’s Bassoon Concerto with world-renowned bassoonist Frank Morelli as soloist. Over his career thus far, he has conducted the premieres of many of his own and his peers’ compositions in recitals and concerts across the United States.

Juilliard Conductors

With fellow colleagues and teachers, December 2016. Left to right: Jim Ross, Jane Kim, Benjamin Hochman, Gregor Mayrhofer, Jesse Brault, and Alan Gilbert.

Growing up in rural Wisconsin, Jesse began his studies as a trombonist and pianist while in grade school. As a young composer, he garnered performances of his music in such places as the Aspen Music Festival and Boston’s Faneuil Hall. He later attended St. Olaf College where he studied music theory and composition, graduating summa cum laude. While there, he began his conducting career, organizing a performance of Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony and later leading the St. Olaf Orchestra in touring performances of Debussy’s “Fêtes”. As both conductor and composer, he led performances of his piano concerto Illuminatio with the St. Olaf Band throughout the United States. His teachers at St. Olaf included Steven Amundson, Timothy Mahr, and Justin Merritt.

Passionate about sharing music with younger students, Jesse appeared as guest conductor at the first Nord Anglia Performing Arts Festival, Europe and the Middle East, in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 2019. There he led two orchestras of young musicians aged 10-18 from two continents, bringing together students of many different backgrounds and identities toward a common musical cause. He also served as conductor of Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Chamber Orchestra for the 2018-19 season, leading performances of Schubert, Beethoven, and Bartok with his students there. Additionally, Jesse spends and enjoys much of his time working with very young students in New York City on ear-training, theory, and music history.

Outside of music, Jesse enjoys a number of passions and pursuits, including cooking, running, photography, programming, linguistics, and philosophy. He currently resides in New York City.