Conductor of Youth Orchestra (YO)

A conductor focused on inspiring and educating young musicians, Simon Lipskar is hailed for his uniquely exuberant, energetic and passionate work with youth orchestras. He has been the conductor of the NJYS Youth Orchestra since 2006. 

After graduating from Yale University with a B.A. in Religious Studies, he earned his Master’s in Orchestral Conducting at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he received the Conducting Department Award in Honor of Outstanding Contributions to Conservatory Ensembles.  Upon graduation, he was invited to join the Tanglewood Music Center’s prestigious Conductors’ Seminar, where he studied under Robert Spano and Gustav Meier and took part in masterclasses with such eminent maestros as Seiji Ozawa, Bernard Haitink and Andre Previn.  Following that summer, he was asked by Maestro Spano to serve as his assistant conductor at the Brooklyn Philharmonic. 

In 2004, Simon found his life’s work conducting young musicians when he was appointed the conductor of the New Jersey Youth Symphony’s Philharmonia.  In 2006, he began conducting the NJYS Youth Orchestra, and he was the Interim Conductor of NJYS’s Youth Symphony in 2017-18. In addition, he was appointed the conductor of the Kaufman Center’s Special Music School High School Orchestra in Fall 2022. Since 2010, he has spent his summers conducting at the Kinhaven Music School, where he was a student himself as a teenager. An award-winning chamber musician in his youth, Simon attended Juilliard Pre-College, where he studied violin, piano and composition. 

When not on the podium, Simon can be found running Writers House, an industry-leading literary agency where he represents some of today’s bestselling and award-winning authors.