“Abundant vitality and lyrical intensity” Baltimore Sun
Italian conductor Valentina Peleggi is Mackerras Fellow at English National Opera, Principal Conductor of the Sao Paulo Symphony Chorus, and Guest Music Director at the Theatro Sao Pedro (also in Sao Paulo) specialising in Italian opera.
In the 19/20 season at ENO she conducts their production of Carmen and three performances of Orpheus in the Underworld, having debuted last season with La Boheme. Her Sao Paulo plans include Rossini’s Italiana in Algieri and a Villa Lobos a capella CD for Naxos with the Sao Paulo Symphony Chorus. Symphonic debuts this season include a UK tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and subscription weeks with the Bournemouth Symphony and the BBC Scottish Symphony, in which she will premiere a new orchestration of Alma Mahler songs by Roxana Panufnik (specially commissioned by the BBC for Peleggi). She will return to the Orchestra della Toscana in her home town of Florence, conducts two successive weeks with the Richmond Symphony in Virginia (USA), and makes her first appearance in Holland conducting the Residentie Orkest. Last season’s highlights included a return to the Baltimore Symphony and her debut with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in a concert (broadcast live) of works by rediscovered composers Florence Price and Augusta Holmes.
Past guest appearances have also included the Norrkoping Symphony, Orchestra del Teatro Verdi in Trieste, Omaha Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Valdivia (Chile) and Orquestra Filharmonica de Goias (Brazil); she has also worked with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Tonhalle Orchester Zurich. She has collaborated with soloists such as Baiba Skride, Jan Liesecki, Alexander Melnikov, Louis Schwizgebel, Boris Belkin, Mariam Batsashvili and Yuri Bashmet. During her years in Sao Paulo as Resident Conductor of the OSESP São Paulo Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop, Peleggi conducted many subscription concerts and continues to return as a guest. In her ongoing position with their (professional) symphonic chorus she plans their artistic programme, conducts a capella concerts, and prepares the chorus in symphonic repertoire. She won the APCA Prize in 2016 as Conductor of the Year from the Paulistan Society of Critics of Arts and was voted “Young Talent of 2017” by readers of Brazil’s specialist music magazine Revista Concerto.
The first Italian woman to enter the conducting programme at the Royal Academy of Music of London, she graduated with distinction and was awarded the DipRAM for an outstanding final concert, as well as numerous prizes along the way. She assisted Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Semyon Bychkov, Christian Thielemann and furthered her studies with David Zinman at the Zurich Tonhalle. 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, going on to assist 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. Together with the Orchestra Nazionale della RAI she assisted at a live worldwide broadcast and DVD production of Rossini's Cenerentola. 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 under Marin Alsop.
"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."