Reuben Stern '20 , Music Director

Reuben Stern, a senior living in Dunster House, is the Music Director of the Bach Society Orchestra's 2019–2020 season. During his three-year tenure with the orchestra, Reuben has championed diverse and interesting programming, combining perennial classics with lesser-known works, particularly of composers from historically marginalized demographics. Reuben is a lover of 20th- and 21st-century music, and has a special fondness for electroacoustic music.

As a bassoonist, Reuben currently performs with the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, an ensemble for which he serves as assistant conductor. Previously, he has studied with Nancy Goeres, Janet Underhill, and Richard Ranti, and participated in masterclasses with William Short, George Sakakeeny, Suzanne Nelsen, and Whitney Crockett. Reuben played with the Boston Youth Symphony for four years, enjoying notable performances playing principal bassoon on Le Sacre du Printemps, Ein Heldenleben, Mahler's Symphony No. 1, Brahms' Symphony No. 3, Verdi's Otello, and Puccini's Tosca. Additionally, Reuben has spent two summers touring with the National Youth Orchestra of the USA, performing in Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Smetana Hall in Prague, among others. With the National Youth Orchestra, Reuben worked under the direction of Maestros David Robertson, Christoph Eschenbach, and Valery Gergiev.

He was a runner-up in the Boston Civic Symphony and Boston Youth Symphony concerto competitions in 2015, a merit award winner at the 2015 National Young Arts Foundation competition, and a winner of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras Phillip J. Smith Award in 2016. Reuben was also named the WISE Foundation Emerging Artist of 2016.

Reuben is pursuing a degree in mathematics, with a secondary concentration in music. He believes strongly in the beauty of mathematics, and of all fields of study.


The Bach Society Orchestra hosts two annual competitions - the Concerto competition and the Composition competition - to promote the recognition of musical excellence at Harvard.

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