Jaelem Bhate is a conductor, composer, and bandleader from Vancouver, B.C. whose musical diversity has come to define his career. Alongside serving as Artistic Director and Music Director for some of the most innovative and forward-thinking ensembles in Canada, Jaelem has steadily added to the repertoire in both the classical and jazz genres.
In 2019 Jaelem was named to the CBC’s ’30 under 30 hot classical musicians. That same year he completed his Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting at UBC under the guidance of Dr. Jonathan Girard.
As a conductor, Jaelem has worked professionally as a guest with the Vancouver and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Vancouver Philharmonic. He is the current music director of the Vancouver Brass Collective, as well as the artistic director of Symphony 21, an ensemble which he founded. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jaelem spearheaded the creation of a digital season, garnering wide spread recognition and praise for having steered such a young organization through difficult circumstances. Symphony 21’s Fall season featured, in large part, works by underrepresented and unknown composers over two series: ‘Canadian Creators’ and ‘Beyond Backstage’, while its Summer season sees performances paired with local businesses.
Jaelem has pursued training as a conductor, in addition to his Master Degree, with some of the most prestigious pedagogues in the world, and has participated in a number of high profile positions and programs. This past year he attended the Cabrillo Festival in California (virtually), where he studied with Christian Macelaru, Yannick Nézét-Seguin, and Marin Alsop.
Jaelem is a dedicated educator and believes in bringing music into the lives of as many people as possible, no matter their previous experiences or social circumstances. He is proud to be involved as a substitute instructor with the St. James Music Academy, an el sistema inspired program for disadvantaged youth on the downtown East side of Vancouver. He also spent two years educating young children and teens at the UBC Summer Music Institute, where he was a senior staff member and instrumental ensemble assistant. He was named the 2019 Nestor Korchinsky Leadership Award from UBC for his diverse work serving the community.