Italian conductor Valentina Peleggi is Resident Conductor of the OSESP São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and Principal Conductor of their professional chorus until the end of 2018. 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. In 2018 she takes up a new three-year post in Sao Paulo as Guest Music Director at the Theatro Sao Pedro, specialising in Italian opera and conducting one production each season. From September 2018 she also takes up a two-year Mackerras Fellowship at English National Opera assisting on a wide range of repertoire and conducting performances across both seasons, including her own main-house production in 19/20.
Concert debuts in the coming months include Norrkoping Symphony, Gothenburg Opera orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica de Minerias (Mexico City), BBC Singers and a return to the Baltimore Symphony. Recent appearances have also included the Omaha Symphony, Orchestra della Toscana and Orchestra del Teatro Verdi di Trieste, Orquesta Sinfonica de Valdivia (Chile) and Orquestra Filharmonica de Goias (Brazil). Previously she 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 and Yuri Bashmet. In June 2017 she was a participant in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s prestigious masterclasses under Daniele Gatti, streamed live to over 10,000 viewers.
Her duties with OSESP Orchestra over the past season included 4 subscription programs (Haydn, Debussy, Schumann, Rimsky-Korsakov), special concerts (Beethoven 9, Tchaikovsky) and Sunday Morning concerts. As Principal Conductor of the OSESP choir, Ms Peleggi takes care of the artistic programming, leads the choir in subscriptions a cappella concerts (Part, Messiaen, Penderecki among others), and prepares the choir for symphonic repertoire ranging from Tristan und Isolde (concertante) conducted by Sir Richard Armstrong, to Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and Britten’s War Requiem with OSESP Music Director Marin Alsop. She returns to the orchestra as a guest conductor for subscription concerts in 2019.
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. She went 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 production of Rossini's Cenerentola, and a DVD recording for RAI - RADA Film. 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 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.