In 2017 the Italian conductor Valentina Peleggi was awarded Conductor of the Year by the Sao Paulo critics’ society. This season she has conducted the Sao Paulo Symphony in Beethoven 9 and Haydn’s Seven Last Words and made her debuts with the Baltimore and Omaha symphonies. In Spring 2017 she participates in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s prestigious masterclasses under Daniele Gatti.
She studied in London (RAM), Rome, Siena and with Zinman in Zurich, and has assisted Gardiner, Bychkov and Thielemann, as well as her mentor Marin Alsop. She is passionately dedicated to Italian opera, from bel canto to Verdi, and has worked with Bruno Campanella and Gianluigi Gelmetti at Teatro Regio di Torino, Opera Bastille Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Teatro Regio di Parma and Teatro San Carlo, also with the Orchestra Nazionale della RAI for a live worldwide broadcast and DVD production of Cenerentola.
Ms Peleggi has also worked with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchester, Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Trieste and the Orchestra della Toscana, and has collaborated with soloists such as Boris Belkin, Yuri Bashmet and Baiba Skribe.
The first Italian woman to enter the conducting programme at the Royal Academy of Music in London, she graduated with distinction and was awarded the DipRAM for an outstanding final concert. She holds a Master in Conducting from the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Rome with honours, and in 2013 was awarded the Accademia Chigiana’s highest award. Ms Peleggi nurtures strong connections with her fellow musicians. From 2005 to 2015 she was the Principal Conductor and Music Director of the University Choir in Florence, and remains their Honorary Conductor, receiving in 2011 a special award from the government in recognition of her work there. She won the 2014 Conducting Prize at the Festival International de Inverno Campos do Jordão, received a Bruno Walter Foundation Scholarship at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California, and the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship 2015-2017.
Peleggi shaped the score with abundant vitality and lyrical intensity, drawing a crackling response from the BSO.
Her enthusiasm was stunning. Her language with the ensemble portrayed the journey of the title characters with almost as much distinction as the interplay between the brass and strings.
Peleggi gave an excellent performance, effectively communicating its energetic and sparkling character… and yet also emphasising the more lyrical mood of the inner movements…a remarkable success.