Yuga Cohler is the newly appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra in Los Angeles. Recognized as one of the most promising conductors of his generation, he was awarded a Career Assistance Award by the Solti Foundation U.S. in 2015. He serves as New York City Director of the Asia / America New Music Institute, and from 2013 – 2015 was the Music Director of the Weill Cornell Medical College Orchestra.
Mr. Cohler is the youngest graduate of the Juilliard School’s Master of Music program in orchestral conducting. A recipient of the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship, he studied with New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert and worked extensively with the Juilliard Orchestra, with whom he made his professional debut in 2013. Since then, he has worked in various capacities with the Dallas, Baltimore, Fort Worth, New Jersey, New World, and New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestras.
Mr. Cohler has been awarded fellowships to the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen under Robert Spano, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music under Marin Alsop, and the Salzburg Festival, where he was selected by members of the Vienna Philharmonic for a residency as the Ansbacher Fellow. Elsewhere, he has participated in masterclasses given by Bernard Haitink, Michael Tilson-Thomas, and Christoph von Dohnányi. In 2013, Mr. Cohler was chosen by John Adams and David Robertson to perform a program of modern American orchestral works at Carnegie Hall.
Prior to his graduate studies, Mr. Cohler held the music directorship of the Harvard University Bach Society Orchestra, a post formerly occupied by his teacher, Alan Gilbert. He conducted the group in several sold-out performances, including those with frequent collaborator and renowned violinist Ryu Goto. He also led the Dunster House Opera in its 2009 production of The Rake’s Progress, which marked the first Boston performance of the work in over twenty years.
Mr. Cohler graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University, where he studied computer science and music. As an advocate for the integration of art music into American culture, he has collaborated with organizations such as Groupmuse to modernize the classical concertgoing experience through the use of technology and other media.