David Bloom is a conductor equally at home in opera, new music, and orchestral repertoire, noted alike for his “rockstar energy” (Urban Milwaukee) and “graceful sensitivity” (I Care If You Listen). He is founding Co-Artistic Director of Contemporaneous, a 23-member New York-based ensemble which he has led in performances lauded as “ferocious and focused” (The New York Times). Also Co-Artistic Director of Present Music, he brings “breathtaking and inspired programming” (Shepherd Express) to Milwaukee’s long-running new music ensemble. Bloom dedicates his work to collaborating with artists and communities to inspire creativity, empathy, and inclusiveness.
He has conducted over 300 world premieres in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, MoMA, Walker Art Center, and Park Avenue Armory, working with such artists as the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Dashon Burton, The Crossing, David Byrne, Helga Davis, Kronos Quartet, Isabel Leonard, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Courtney Love, NOW Ensemble, and Dawn Upshaw. Among the composers Bloom has collaborated with are Donnacha Dennehy, Du Yun, inti figgis-vizueta, Michael Gordon, Judd Greenstein, Nathalie Joachim, David Lang, Tania León, Emma O’Halloran, and Julia Wolfe. Upcoming highlights include performances at Disney Concert Hall and debuts with Jacaranda and Eurasia Consort.
Especially active as an opera conductor, Bloom has premiered over 30 operas, bringing a spirit of generosity, collaboration, and committed support alike to casts, creatives, orchestras, and audiences. Among the productions Bloom has led are Philip Glass’s Les enfants terribles for Opera Omaha, Michael Gordon’s Acquanetta, Jeremy Schonfeld’s Iron & Coal, and Todd Almond’s Kansas City Choir Boy for Beth Morrison Projects, Kamala Shankaram’s Miranda in virtual reality for Tri-Cities Opera and Opera Omaha, Matt Marks’s Mata Hari for PROTOTYPE Festival, and numerous productions for Experiments in Opera, the American Opera Project, Opera on Tap, and Contemporaneous. Upcoming highlights include premieres of Judd Greenstein’s A Marvelous Order and a 10-episode TV opera by 10 composers.
Along with composer Dylan Mattingly, Bloom co-founded Contemporaneous in 2010 and now leads the ensemble into its second decade, championing the most exciting music of our time. He has guided the organization in commissioning and developing many ambitious works, connecting composers’ dream projects with new audiences. In 2019, along with violinist Eric Segnitz, Bloom was appointed Co-Artistic Director of Present Music, one of the nation’s original new music ensembles. His work enriches Milwaukee’s cultural landscape with cross-genre and immersive shows, featuring local, national, international artists and composers.
He has recorded for Sony Masterworks, Cantaloupe, New Amsterdam, Innova, New Focus, Starkland, and Navona and is co-host of Imagination Radio, a Contemporaneous podcast on the significance of music in our lives. Also known as a “vividly creative arranger” (Shepherd Express), Bloom has created a significant library of arrangements for a variety of forces, including music by Julius Eastman, Alhaji Bai Konte, Jeremy Schonfeld, Henry Threadgill, and songs by Gladys Knight and En Vogue for Up Until Now Collective’s performances in American Sign Language.
Bloom serves on the faculty of New York University’s Steinhardt School, where he teaches beginning to advanced conducting courses and has conducted the NYU Contemporary Music Ensemble and Broadway Orchestra. He has also been artistic advisor for activist orchestra The Dream Unfinished since the organization’s founding. He taught at Kaufman Music Center for eight years, serving as conductor of new music youth orchestra Face the Music and launching the orchestra program at the Center’s public high school, Special Music School. He has led residencies at such institutions as Princeton University, Mannes School of Music, City University of New York, Williams College, and his alma mater, Bard College.