Max Valdés Conducts
Former BPO music director Maximiano Valdés returns to conduct a thrilling and eclectic program with Sterling Elliott, winner of the 2019 Sphinx Competition, performing Saint-Saëns’ intriguing Cello Concerto. Composer Angélica Negrón, known for her use of atypical instrumentation like robotics and toys, introduces an inventive mechanical percussion ensemble in “Me he perdido.” Finally, Bruckner’s rhythmically exciting Sixth Symphony makes use of the full breadth of orchestral colors.
Maximiano Valdés, conductor
Sterling Elliott, cello
ANGÉLICA NEGRÓN “Me he perdido” (I’ve Gotten Lost)
SAINT-SAËNS Cello Concerto
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 6 in A major
About Maximiano Valdés
In February 2008, Chilean conductor Maximiano Valdés was named Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Puerto Rico Symphony in San Juan. He recently ended a 16-year tenure as Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias in Spain and is now the orchestra’s Conductor Laureate. At the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile, Valdés had served as Chief Conductor of both the orchestra and opera, and returns annually for both symphonic and opera performances while also serving as the current Music Director of the Chilean Youth Orchestra. In March 2010, Mr. Valdés also accepted the position of Artistic Director of the famed Festival Casals in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Mr. Valdés made his American symphonic debut in October 1987 with the Buffalo Philharmonic and was immediately re-invited for the following season. After a successful return to the orchestra in 1989, he was appointed as Music Director. His tenure with the BPO ran through the 1997-98 season and was marked by the BPO’s continued excellence in both the standard and 20th-century repertoire, with many of the world’s leading soloists.
In North America, Valdés has guest conducted many of the leading orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the St. Louis, National, Montreal, Baltimore, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, and New World Symphonies, and the Calgary Philharmonic. Summer festival appearances have included engagements at the Caramoor, Interlochen, Grand Teton, Music Academy of the West, and Grant Park Festivals. Recent and upcoming engagements include guest conducting the Indianapolis, Vancouver, Colorado, Phoenix, San Diego, Alabama and Toledo Symphonies; the Louisiana Philharmonic; the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa; and the Eastern Music and Chautauqua Festivals.
Equally active as an international guest conductor, he has led countless orchestras across Europe and South America. In October 2011, Mr. Valdés led the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias in a concert for the Pope at the Vatican, and he was one of the first international conductors to conduct the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Cuba in Havana in January 2016.
Maestro Valdés was appointed the Distinguished Professor of Musicology at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan at the start of the 2021-22 season and received an Honorary Doctorate Degree. In August 2022 he took the Puerto Rico Symphony to Chicago for a historic performance in Orchestra Hall, where the orchestra presented a program of popular and classical works by composers associated with Puerto Rico sponsored by the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture.
An experienced opera conductor who has led productions in many of Europe’s leading opera houses, Mr. Valdés made his successful opera debut conducting La Traviata at the Nice Opera. Since then he has conducted productions in Paris, Lausanne, Rome, Berlin, London, Barcelona, Oslo, Copenhagen, Bonn, Asturias and Santiago, Chile. Mr. Valdés made his American operatic debut with the Seattle Opera conducting Cosi fan tutti. Recent and upcoming opera appearances include several productions in Oviedo (Spain), San Juan, Santiago, and Madrid.
Born in Santiago, Chile, Maximiano Valdés began his studies in piano and violin at the Conservatory of Music in Santiago and continued his studies at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, where he took courses in composition and conducting. Completing his diploma in piano, he elected to concentrate on conducting and enrolled in the classes of Franco Ferrara in Bologna, Siena and Venice, and Sergiu Celibidache in Stuttgart and Paris. In 1976 Mr. Valdés was engaged as Assistant Conductor at the Teatro la Fenice in Venice and the following year was a Conducting Fellow at Tanglewood, where he worked with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. He won First Prize at the Nicolai Malko Competition in Copenhagen, First Prize at the Vittorio Gui Competition in Florence, and Second Prize at the Rupert Foundation Conducting Competition in London.
Maximiano Valdés has recorded with London’s Royal Philharmonic, the Monte Carlo and Nice Philharmonics, and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra, and had an exclusive agreement with Naxos Records to record works by Latin American and Spanish composers with his orchestra in Asturias. His most recent recording is a CD of works by Roberto Sierra with the Puerto Rico Symphony, also for Naxos.
About Sterling Elliott
Acclaimed for his stellar stage presence and joyous musicianship, cellist Sterling Elliott is a 2021 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient and the winner of the Senior Division of the 2019 National Sphinx Competition. Already in his young career, he has appeared with such major orchestras as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, and the Dallas Symphony, with noted conductors Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Thomas Wilkins, Jeffrey Kahane, Bramwell Tovey, Mei-Ann Chen and others. This summer he made his Aspen Festival debut, performing the Brahms Double Concerto with Gil Shaham, and he made his German debut in Munich in May 2022, performing chamber music with Daniel Hope.
Sterling’s 2022-2023 season includes debuts with the Colorado Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, and Ft. Worth Symphony, among others. He will appear in recital under the auspices of the San Francisco Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, Shriver Hall in Baltimore, the Tippet Rise Festival, and Capitol Region Classical in Albany, NY. In October he participated in the Caramoor Music Festival’s prestigious Evnin Rising Stars series, a weeklong program of coaching and chamber music culminating in a performance in Katonah, NY.
Sterling Elliott is currently a Kovner Fellow at the Juilliard School where he is pursuing his Master of Music degree studying with Joel Krosnick and Clara Kim. He completed his undergraduate degree in cello performance at Juilliard in May 2021. He currently performs on a 1741 Gennaro Gagliano cello on loan through the Robert F. Smith Fine String Patron Program, in partnership with the Sphinx Organization.
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