Jeffrey Means is an American conductor specializing in contemporary music. Well-noted for his exacting interpretations of even the most demanding scores, Means is a regular presence in new music in the east coast of the US, and travels for engagements around the world.
Based in Boston, Means has conducted many of the city's new music ensembles, including the Firebird Ensemble, Ludovico Ensemble, Callithumpian Consort, East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, and others. He also frequently leads ensembles in New York, including the Talea Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Players and the Mimesis Ensemble. Means is the conductor and artistic director of Sound Icon, whose performances have been named among the best of the year multiple times by the Boston Globe. Means regularly works with the preeminent composers of our time, including Pierluigi Billone, Pierre Boulez, Georg Friedrich Haas, Jonathan Harvey, Helmut Lachenmann, Liza Lim, Tristan Murail, Steve Reich, Salvatore Sciarrino, and others. In many cases, Means has led US premieres of major works by these composers.
Means served as assistant conductor of Spoleto Festival USA from 2016 through 2018, and had the same position at the Lucerne Festival Academy in 2016 and 2017. In these capacities, he has assisted Heinz Hollinger, Alan Gilbert, Susanna Malkki, Matthias Pintscher, John Kennedy, and led numerous rehearsals and performances. Previously, Means has been guest conductor at many festivals abroad, including Piano Espoo in Finland, Musica AntiquaNova in Argentina, the Composit Festival in Italy, and the Etchings Festival in France. He also performs at music festivals across the US.
Jeffrey pursues an active teaching schedule. He is on the conducting faculty at the Berklee College of Music, and has guest conducted at New England Conservatory and Boston Conservatory. He holds a BM in percussion and an MM in conducting from New England Conservatory, where he received the John Cage Award, the Tourjee Alumni Award, and was given the Gunther Schuller Medal at his graduation. In 2005, he was a fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center. He has recordings available on Albany, Mode, New World, Navona, Naxos, and Tzadik records.