Grammy-nominated conductor Sara Jobin has a passion for opera, new and American repertoire, and sacred music.
In 2004 she made history as the first woman to conduct mainstage subscription performances for San Francisco Opera, returning to lead 17 performances of five different productions since then. This season marks her first as Artistic Director of the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York, where she had been the Chief Conductor for seven years. Her first opera recording was nominated for a Grammy in 2010, and she has led American operas from Avignon and Alaska to Szeged and Shanghai. Further engagements have included Arizona Opera, Baltimore Lyric, Opera Santa Barbara, Dayton Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Opera, Symphony Silicon Valley, and three years as Resident Conductor of the Toledo Symphony and Associate Conductor of the Toledo Opera.
As a freelancer, Sara Jobin particularly seeks out projects that increase cross cultural or interfaith understanding. Recently, she led a performance of the Bach B-minor Mass at Dachau in memory of Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan, a Sufi Muslim who gave her life as a British spy in WWII. She premiered Mohican composer Brent Michael David’s The Purchase of Manhattan, told from the Native-American perspective, at the Marble Collegiate Church in New York, and portions of Shelia Silver’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, a work still in progress, at the Opera America New Works Forum. Recent/past engagements include debuts with LA Opera and a return to the Toledo symphony, while future engagements include a debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in their Green Umbrella series.
Named a Leonard Bernstein Music Scholar by Harvard College, Jobin tends to defy traditional categories. She earned her black belt in judo on the same day she conducted Beethoven’s Fifth for the first time. She sang for many years in the Glide Ensemble, a gospel choir featured in the movie The Pursuit of Happiness, starring Will Smith; prefers to ride a bicycle for transportation year-round; and is looking for more opportunities to conduct sacred music. Tired of operas where the women die victimized by society, Sara Jobin founded the Different Voice Opera Project in collaboration with Carol Gilligan.
Jobin comes from a multi-colored, multi-faith family with a strong tradition of social-justice activism. She pledges her talent to increase the peace.