Symphony Nova Scotia announces first Bernhard Gueller Conductor Fellow

Halifax/K’jipuktuk, NS – Symphony Nova Scotia is pleased to announce that Conductor Serena Reuten has been named as the first Fellow of the Bernhard Gueller Conductor Fellowship.

The Fellowship, offered every two years, provides a Canadian conductor in the early stages of their career the opportunity to work with a professional orchestra. Learning to effectively communicate with the musicians and audience, as well as balance the Symphony’s many instruments, are key skills that can be achieved through mentorship and practice. Fellows will also engage with off-podium experiences that could include staff meetings, in-school visits, adult enrichment programs, community engagement, and/or patron benefit events.

Serena is an incredibly talented and sophisticated musician,” says Music Director Holly Mathieson.” Her musicality and understanding of style are evident, and she has a broad lexicon of gestures that she can bring to an orchestra.

What someone with her ability needs at this point in their training is time in front of professional players, and a safe space to try things, make mistakes, break it and put it back together. An instrumentalist can do 95 percent of their practice alone in a room. A conductor needs an ensemble of musicians to do that work. I’m delighted that Symphony Nova Scotia will provide that ‘sandpit’ for her and I look forward to working with her.”

Reuten is a German-Canadian conductor currently completing a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. She completed degrees in Flute Performance at the Universities of Ottawa and Montreal, and currently holds the Evan Whallon Fellowship at the Eastman School of Music, where she is Assistant Conductor of the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra. She is also involved with OSSIA, a contemporary music organization.

In 2022, Reuten worked with Alexander Shelley and the NAC Orchestra as a participant in their Play It Forward mentorship program. This past summer, she spent two weeks at the Domaine Forget Conducting Academy under the tutelage of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. She was named among the CBC’s 30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30 in 2023.

I am so excited to be working with Symphony Nova Scotia and getting to know Bernhard Gueller and Holly Mathieson,” says Reuten. “This fellowship offers a unique opportunity to learn from two conductors with multifaceted international careers both on and off the podium – an invaluable experience for a young conductor to grow and prepare for the start of their career. I look forward to meeting everyone at Symphony Nova Scotia!”

During her week-long fellowship with Symphony Nova Scotia in November, Reuten will work with Music Director Holly Mathieson and Bernhard GuellerMusic Director Laureate of Symphony Nova Scotia and Principal Guest Conductor of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra; Gueller returns during the Symphony’s 40th season for a special performance of Beethoven, Wagner, and Mahler on November 16, 2023.

The Fellowship was established through the generosity of Symphony donors to honour Gueller’s 16-year legacy as Music Director. He retired from Symphony Nova Scotia in 2018.

More information about the Bernhard Gueller Conducting Fellowship can be found at

About Symphony Nova Scotia
Symphony Nova Scotia is Nova Scotia’s orchestra, championing symphonic music in the province for 40 years. With a home base in Halifax/K’jipuktuk and performances across the province, Symphony Nova Scotia is proud to be a vibrant, vital part of Nova Scotia’s rich cultural community. From sold-out orchestral concerts to free family events, youth and seniors’ activities, and educational partnerships, Symphony Nova Scotia creates unforgettable experiences with truly great music. Visit to learn more.


For more information, please contact:

Carol Kehoe
Director of Marketing and Communications, Symphony Nova Scotia
[email protected]