The Des Moines Symphony Announces a New Guest Conductor for Masterworks 4

February 6, 2019


DES MOINES – The Des Moines Symphony today announced a change in its upcoming Masterworks 4 concert, formerly titled ‘Nelson Conducts Bernstein,’ at 7:30PM Saturday, February 16 & 2:30PM Sunday, February 17, 2019 at the Des Moines Civic Center (221 Walnut Street, Des Moines).

Celebrated conductor Gerard Schwarz has led many of the world’s greatest orchestras and opera companies. He made his triumphant Des Moines Symphony debut in January 2016, conducting the Brahms Fourth Symphony in a program which also featured his son, cellist Julian Schwarz, as soloist. Now at the invitation of Joseph Giunta, Gerard Schwarz returns to lead the Orchestra in a concert that features the Des Moines debut of Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich. You’ll hear Bernstein’s witty Divertimento, a celebration of American dance dedicated to the Boston Symphony, and Schumann’s expressive Symphony No. 2. But first, Rabinovich’s bravura performance of Prokofiev’s jazz-infused, lyrical Third Piano Concerto will take your breath away.

The Des Moines Symphony had previously announced John Nelson as the guest conductor for its Masterworks 4 concert, then titled ‘Nelson Conducts Bernstein.’ Renowned conductor Gerard Schwarz agreed to step in and conduct this program with just two weeks’ notice when John Nelson withdrew for health reasons.

Of Schwarz’s conducting debut with the Des Moines Symphony in January 2016, The Des Moines Register noted “Schwarz is a dignified but feisty presence on the podium, and he challenged the orchestra with driving tempos and cues for stark dynamic contrasts.”

“Gerard Schwarz is a world-renowned conductor who has enjoyed an extensive and illustrious career,” said Des Moines Symphony Music Director & Conductor Joseph Giunta. “It’s incredibly fortunate that he happened to be able to fit us into his schedule on such short notice. I know the musicians of the Des Moines Symphony will be thrilled to work with him again, and our audiences will be very pleased.”

Gerard Schwarz, guest conducting

Roman Rabinovich, piano


  • Learn more about the music and composers featured in our Season Debut at Classical Conversations on Wednesday, February 13, 2019
  • Free Concert Prelude talks begin 45 minutes prior to each Masterworks concert in the Prairie Meadows (East) Lobby
  • Find out where to park and what to expect in this visitor’s guide

Single tickets are $15-$68
 and are available online through (up until two hours prior to performances) and at the Civic Center Ticket Office (515.246.2300, 221 Walnut Street, Des Moines; open 9AM-5PM Monday through Friday and two hours prior to performances). Please note single ticket prices are subject to a $5 increase on the day of the concert, excluding student rush tickets.

Student tickets are $7.50-$34 and are available through the Civic Center Ticket Office with valid student ID. Student rush tickets, subject to availability, are $5 for junior high and high school students and $10 for all other students the day of the concert through the Civic Center Ticket Office. Tickets will be available at the door.