Known for his ability to inspire musicians and audiences alike, Jeffrey Bernstein is one of Southern California's pre-eminent choral conductors. He is founding artistic and executive director of the Pasadena Chorale and artistic director of the Los Angeles Daiku. Trained at Harvard, Yale, and UCLA, Bernstein was Director of Choral Music at Occidental College in Los Angeles for eleven years before founding the Pasadena Chorale.
He has led choirs on fourteen tours of four continents and traveled extensively as a guest conductor, leading choirs and orchestras in Europe, Japan, and throughout the United States. Highlights include conducting the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in Life of Mozart, an concert he created for young people, becoming the first American to lead the annual concert of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Naruto, Japan, the city where the work was first heard in Asia, and conducting over 300 performers in an all-Beethoven program in the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
An active composer Bernstein was awarded second place in the American Prize in Choral Composition for 21st Century 23rd Psalm and honorable mention for The Human Journey. The symphonic poem Dreams of Japan, composed for the Tokushima Symphony, was premiered by that orchestra and subsequently performed in Los Angeles. Fukushima Requiem, composed in response to the Tohoku tsunami disaster has been performed several times in America and Japan. Bernstein has composed and premiered dozens of other concert works including orchestra pieces, choral-orchestral works, solo songs, chamber music, and over thirty works for chorus. Bernstein has released four albums of improvised piano music, PianoJournals, Clear Mind Calm Water, The Desert House, and Pianoasis . He is the songwriter for the PBSKids show “Let’s Go Luna” starring Judy Greer.
A committed educator and advocate for children, Bernstein teaches at the Pasadena Waldorf School. He makes his home in Altadena, California.