Born in Jakarta, Indonesia of Chinese descent, the Indonesian-American Wilson Hermanto’s musical training began with the piano and the violin. He graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of Music majoring in violin and pursued conducting study at the Manhattan School of Music (class of Sixten Ehrling). Sir Colin Davis became a close musical mentor who took personal interest in shaping Wilson Hermanto’s conducting skills. Wilson Hermanto was also one of the last pupils in the famous conducting class of Carlo Maria Giulini at Scuola di Musica di Fiesole in Italy, a conducting fellow at the Tanglewood Music Centre and a fellow at the invitation of Pierre Boulez to work with the maestro at the Lucerne Festival Academy.
Early in his conducting career Wilson Hermanto founded and led the Prometheus Chamber Orchestra in New York (1996-2002). From 2002 to 2004 Wilson Hermanto served as the Assistant Conductor and Staff Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst. He made his debut at the Blossom Music Festival appearing with the Cleveland Orchestra in 2003. In the field of opera Wilson Hermanto’s debut as a conductor was in a production of Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel in Los Angeles in 2000.
During the anniversary years of Gustav Mahler in 2010 and 2011, Hermanto together with the eminent Mahlerian musicologist Henry-Louis de La Grange, the mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig, the soprano Miah Persson and the Sinfonietta de Lausanne collaborated in Mahler projects, culminating in performances of the composer’s 1st and 4th Symphonies as well as masterclasses and a symposium.
In 2016 Wilson Hermanto conducted a production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Mariinsky Theatre. Following his sensational debut with the Cameristi della Scala, effective December 2017 Wilson Hermanto begins his association with the orchestra as its Principal Guest Conductor. In the season 2018-19 Wilson Hermanto conducted Cameristi della Scala in France as well as in their annual Teatro alla Scala series. He also performed as a guest conductor with both the Mariinsky Orchestra and the Philharmonic Orchestra Szczecin and made his debuts with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Chile and the Bari Symphony Orchestra.
Wilson Hermanto has a particularly strong profile in France where he appeared with the Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and Orchestre de chambre de Paris. Other notable highlights include performances with the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orchestra della Svizzera italiana, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève.