Founder & Music Director

New York City resident Justin Bischof is one of the most eclectic artists and leaders of his generation. He is an internationally acclaimed orchestral & opera conductor as well as concert organist, pianist and improviser. He has performed in some of the world’s great venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Lincoln Center, Rose Theatre Lincoln Center, Tonhalle of Zurich, Eli Broad Theatre of Los Angeles, Royal Opera House Oman, St. Paul’s Cathedral London, Notre Dame Paris, Cologne Cathedral, to name a few. He has collaborated with some of the world’s most prominent artists including Joshua Bell, Philippe Entremont, Bright Sheng, Tan Dun and Roberta Peters. As an orchestral conductor, he has worked with numerous ensembles including National Arts Center Orchestra, The Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Vancouver Symphony, the Royal Symphony of Oman, the State Philharmonic Kavkazskiye of Russia, the WAAPA orchestra in Perth Australia, and the National Orchestra of Haiti.

Upcoming conducting engagements include MOO Spring Concert (New York City April 29 2023) Gala Closing Concert AGO (Rye July 6 2023) Mozart Requiem (Scarsdale October 2023) MOO Fall Concert (New York City November 2023) Messiah (Scarsdale December 2023) St. Thomas 5th Ave Bicentennial Concerts (March 21 & May 16 2024).

He is the Founder & Artistic Director of Modus Operandi Orchestra MOO of New York City which is comprised of 65 of New York’s finest orchestral musicians. MOO’s mission is to present symphonic, operatic and choral repertoire at the highest artistic level with the goal to engage and enrich the local community. A vital component of the mission is to provide the opportunity for some of the finest freelance musicians in New York City to perform the staples of the great symphonic and operatic repertory as well as contemporary works and world premieres with their colleagues. Many of MOO’s players have gone on to perform with major ensembles including Berlin’s Konzerthaus, Metropolitan Opera, NY Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic and Seattle Symphony.

Maestro Bischof co-founded (with Dorothy E. Yewer) and presented an Annual Children’s Benefit for 10 years to help at risk children that raised over US $1,000,000 and reached over 800 children. Their 2017 Gala 10th Anniversary Concert featured soloists from the Metropolitan Opera in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. MOO’s post COVID return concert in April 2022 included the World Premiere, outside of Cuba, of Guido Gavilan’s Afro Cuban Antilles Violin Concerto with Harlem String Quartet founder Ilmar Gavilan as soloist. Their Merkin Hall Debut is taking place November 30th and will feature the Strings of MOO in a program including Strauss’ epic Metamorphosen for 23 Solo Strings.

He made his Australian Opera Conducting Debut in Perth at the WAAPA leading a critically acclaimed production of the Australian Premiere of Robert Ward’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Crucible. This nationally celebrated artistic event was a highlight of the Australian classical music season. Other important opera premieres include the Hawaiian premiere of Menotti’s The Medium and The Telephone, working with members of The Honolulu Symphony and Hawaii Opera Theatre. With MOO, he led several full productions including Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro & Don Giovanni. With international mezzo-soprano Ariana Chris, Maestro Bischof has conducted and led from the piano several benefit concerts entitled Opera Trash at Carnegie Hall and Le Poisson Rouge receiving rave reviews. In 2019, he led a production of Britten’s Rape of Lucretia at the newly renovated historic Flea Theatre.

He is one of the profession’s most respected organists and has concertized extensively including presenting numerous premieres for solo organ as well as organ and orchestra. He won the First Prize at the 2000 AGO International Organ Improvisation Competition and is a leading proponent of the craft with his all- improvisation performances which have been met with critical acclaim throughout the world. Bischof has performed and recorded with numerous orchestras including the Zurich Symphony and the Milwaukee Symphony. In 2019, he performed the Middle East premiere of Samuel Barber’s Toccata Festiva for Orchestra & Organ at the Royal Opera House in Muscat Oman with the Neue Philharmonie of Frankfurt.

Leadership/Mentoring plays a major role in Maestro Bischof’s career both on and off the podium. His effective ability to engage with audiences is well known. Off the podium, he coaches conductors, instrumentalists, board members and donors on a variety of leadership strategies including the art of fundraising with which he has extensive experience.

He serves on numerous boards including as Chair of the Alumni Council of Manhattan School of Music where he has transformed the organization over the past 4 years to better serve the 17,000 members of the international alumni community. Dr. Bischof taught for many years at the esteemed Manhattan School of Music as well as Barnard College Columbia University and is sought after as a guest clinician for master classes internationally.

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Photo by Daria Meyer