Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Guilherme Bernstein is Professor of Orchestral Conducting and Conductor of the Orchestra of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro State (UNIRIO). After his premiere with the UNIRIO Orchestra they were immediately invited to perform in Rio’s most important concert halls, to which they return regularly, receiving international guests such as Licia Lucas, Shalev Ad-El, the Westminster Youth Choir (Princeton, EUA), Julien Chauvin, Jean-Louis Steuerman etc. and recording programs for TV. In his brief period as Chief Conductor of the Orchestra of Theatro Municipal of Rio de Janeiro, the city’s century-old opera and ballet theatre, Guilherme Bernstein conducted several operatic and symphonic performances praised by public and critic alike. He has guest-conducted Brazilian ensembles such as Orquestra Sinfônica Nacional (OSN-UFF), Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira (OSB), Orquestra Sinfônica de Porto Alegre, Orquestra Sinfônica do Recife, OSUSP, Orquestra Sinfônica de Goiânia, among several others, and also in Europe, Russia and Israel. In Tel-Aviv he accompanied soloists from the Berlin Philharmonic leading the ensemble Soloists from the Israel Philharmonic. With the Opera, Ballet and Theater Orchestra of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory he opened the III Festival of Iberic Culture in Russia. Mr. Bernstein has been a regular guest of festivals such as M.I.M.O. (International Music Festival of Olinda), RICE (Rio International Cello Encounter) and Vale do Café. As former Director of RioMusical Orchestra and Choir, he had a concert broadcasted by the Brazilian Public Radio as a Turn of the Millennium Special. Mr. Bernstein created and served for many years as Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Series at the Brazilian Academy of Literature and as Music Director of Ópera no Bolso, a project by the Rio Municipality which brings opera to young audiences. For five years Music Director of the Orquestra Sinfônica de Barra Mansa, a youth orchestra formed by students and monitors of a project built in resemblance to the Venezuelan “El Sistema”, he raised the artistic standards of the group to the point of performing in the most prestogious halls of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, participating with great success in festivals around Brazil and receiving guest artists like Peter Marsh, Luiz de Moura Castro, Tina Guo, Gerald Robins and Vienna State Opera star Eliane Coelho. Since 2009 the OSBM has established a regular concert season of 10 monthly concerts, besides taking part in festivals and tours.
His compositions, among chamber, vocal and symphonic music, have
been performed in some of the most significant halls in Brazil and
also in Milwaukee, Arizona and Hartford, in the U.S., Saint
Petersburg (Russia), Paris, Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin, Barcelona,
Bari (Italy), Nicaragua, El Salvador and Bolivia. Mr. Bernstein has
also composed for the theater (Der Zentaur im Garten, performed in
Rio, Hamburg and Berlin) and premiered in feature films with the
soundtrack to The Other Side of The
Street, (Best Film C.I.C.A.E Panorama at the Berlin
International Film Festival, 2004, among other prizes in Brazil,
Argentina, Europe and the US, and Best Sound Track in the Festival
of Natal, Brazil). The premiere of his Piano Concerto in Fort
Lauderdale, Florida, by the Symphony of the Americas under Maestro
Jean Reis, brought pianist Licia Lucas, whom the work is dedicated,
to return five times to the stage under public ovation. After being premiered at Theatro São Pedro, São Paulo, his comic opera O Caixeiro da Taverna has been successfully presented in Rio, Vitória, Brasília and most recently at the Amazon Opera Festival, in Manaus. It's third production was filmed and made into a special show for the Brazilian Public TV.
Some of his most significant orchestral scores are
published by the Brazilian
Academy of Music and some others can be found at streaming platforms.
Guilherme Bernstein graduated with renowned maestro Harold
Farberman at the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford,
Connecticut. He has a Bachelor's Degree in orchestral conducting and
Master's in composition from the Music School of the Federal
University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), where he was admitted by competition at age 13 to follow
professional piano studies,
and is a Doctor from the Federal
University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO). In masterclasses
he studied with maestros Dan Lewis, Kurt Masur, David Ziman,
Kenneth Kiesler and Bruno Membrey. He was the only prize-winner at
the 3rd Latin-American Orchestral Conducting Competition, a
recipient of Bolsas Rio-Arte and first prize by the public jury on
the XIV Biennale of Brazilian Contemporary Music. His book on Villa-Lobos Choros has the recomendation seal of the Brazilian Academy of Music and his book / study-score of Villa-Lobos' Uirapuru with Manoel Correa do Lago was published at a celebratory concert by the Symphony Orchestra of São Paulo State in October 2023.