Valentina’s Update: Nurturing What Has Begun

A year ago I was preparing for my first trip to Sao Paulo.  I remember very clearly the first time I heard the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP) rehearsing Mahler’s 5th Symphony. I was so impressed that I could barely breathe.

During this past year I had the chance to conduct around ten concerts with them.  For some concerts I was stepping in at the last minute, some were scheduled, and some were Sunday morning concerts with no rehearsals beforehand.  Every chance I had to conduct the orchestra offered a whole world of different issues to face, and I was glad to have the opportunity to challenge myself.


Valentina Peleggi with Maestri Karabtchevsky and Neves

Here is a photo from last September with maestro Karabtchevsky and Antonio Neves. You can see the incredible size of the score!  It was a huge OSESP production of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder and I was thrilled to be there as assistant and cover conductor.  There was a lot of work to do, and in the end, this program was awarded Brasil’s Best Concert of the Year.  A couple of days later we went on tour with the OSESP and Marin Alsop to Rio de Janeiro where she conducted the entire cycle of Brahms symphonies.


Marin Alsop and Valentina Peleggi in London, UK

Many things have happened in the last six months.  Firstly, I had an amazing time in the UK following Marin’s work with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE), and the London Symphony Orchestra. I also made my debut as guest conductor with the Porto Alegre Symphony Orchestra (Brazil), the Orchestra della Toscana (Italy), and I participated in a thrilling masterclass with the BBC Concert Orchestra.  But at the top of the list I would add two unforgettable experiences with Marin when she gave me the opportunity to conduct parts of the rehearsals for the BBC Proms performance with the OAE and the BBC Symphony!  Absolutely priceless.

I am very glad to see that many of the projects that started in 2015 are growing and gaining new strength, and new ideas. Opportunities are doubling and I very much look forward to nurturing them.

A year ago Marin gave me the opportunity to open her concert with OSESP conducting a 2 minutes piece, Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, by Joan Tower; who could have imagined that this was to be the most beautiful start of an incredible journey which took me back to Sao Paulo to assume the position of  OSESP’s Assistant Conductor in 2016?  A whole new world of learning is now before me, and I feel excited and motivated.

As Assistant Conductor I will cover for the conductors who are leading concerts and help them during rehearsals. I will also conduct most of the season’s Sunday concerts, and two full programs in the subscription season myself.

A new conducting course will be added to the curriculum at the Academia OSESP and I’ve been offered the responsibility to serve as Conducting Professor. This will entail helping the conducting students with score study and technical issues in preparation for their participation in masterclasses with Marin Alsop and some of season’s guest conductors including Robert Spano and Marcos Thadeu.

At the same time I’m very glad that what started in 2015 with Ospa- Porto Alegre Symphony Orchestra is growing and I’m enthusiastic to keep working with them in 2016 in new forthcoming projects.

Yes, 2015 was a great year! I am thankful for every opportunity that was generously offered to me. My goal for this next year is to keep nurturing what has already begun, offering a fertile ground for new opportunities which may appear in this new year. With the beauty of learning and growing comes the opportunity to reflect the light which I have received from others and allowing this to blossom into the results that may appear— within myself, the projects at hand and the team work required, and especially, in the music that I wish to lovingly create.