His fame as a conductor, and particularly as a drillmaster, induced Henry Lee Higginson of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) to secure him as its leader after attending one of Gericke's concerts in Vienna. He spent two periods in the United States conducting the BSO, 1884–1889 and 1898–1906. During his first stay, he eliminated the lighter music that his predecessor had allowed in the programs, scheduled extra rehearsal time, and hired more foreign musicians. The orchestra improved noticeably in the quality of its playing.
In 1884, he was made an honorary member of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien. In 1889, for health reasons, he returned to Vienna, and to the leadership of the Gesellschaftsconcerte, but resigned again in 1895. He and the BSO parted company amicably in 1906 due to the BSO's failure to meet his expectations for a new contract. He died in Vienna.