Sunday, October 21, 2018

Christian Baldini in Conversation with Marta Lambertini

While I am getting ready to conduct the world premiere of Marta Lambertini's Angel apasionado II in Sacramento, California, I have the pleasure of asking Marta some important questions about her music. Here is the transcript from our interview (in English first, and then the original, in Spanish.) [para la entrevista original, completa, en castellano, vea más abajo]

Christian Baldini: Your music always has some kind of mystery around it. It is really like poetry painted somewhere in the music. The Angel apasionado II has much of this mystery, with sections seeming to be building into a climax, to suddenly turn a corner and go somewhere else. What can you tell us about that?

Marta Lambertini: I think you are right. In the case of Angel apasionado II I try to represent Mozart's mystery, and that is why these depths that stem from his string quartet "The Hunt" are always latent, but they never quite become evident fully. I try to show them, and to "unbury" these depths from the quartet, which in its surface shows a kind and gentle character. Measure 45 represents the 2nd part of the theme, revealed in all its dramatic strength. That is why this section must be performed in the softest possible way, as if it was coming from a different place, in which more than hearing it, you must guess it! So I wrote ppp (triple pianissimo), and I thought it would be too exaggerated to use more then 3 ppp, but if it was up to me, it could have thousands. I like for music to be guessed more then listened to.

CB: You have written many operas, and one could say you are a composer with a great dramatic streak, but also with a kind of sense of humor very few times seen in the musical environment. How would you describe your relationship with humor in your own works?

ML: Well, this is a difficult question. I consider myself a person with a good sense of humor. It is a feature that all of us in my family share: cousins, uncles, nephews, etc. It is kind of a defensive sensitivity, if you will. I think that it undoubtedly translates into music. But hold on, it is not the kind of humor that makes fun of just anything, sometimes in order to keep your sense of humor you must have a very serious face. I would define it with a more just word: absurdity. That is why I love Lewis Carroll, and my Alicias (Alices). The fact of maintaining a serious discussion on linguistics with an egg that seems to know a lot on the subject, or with a very philosophical caterpillar, completely exceeds every expectation about the absurd. In this place I choose to live.

CB: What is more important to you, opera or symphonic music? It is a difficult question. Perhaps there is no order of preference, but rather possibly priorities, or desires at different times in life.

ML: It is exactly like you say, just a matter of priorities. Or opportunities. There are themes or topics that lend themselves to a lyrical development, to a theatrical representation. There are also steps in-between, like musical theatre, which is very suitable to the chamber music genre. I name my works. There are other composers who are more austere or which have a narrower reach than me, and they call their works sonata, symphony, prelude. Instead, I like to give them an original name: it is a gift that I give the listeners, to give them a slight inkling, an idea about the content of what they are about to listen to. When you don't have a libretto, but just an idea, you write symphonic music. In my case, works like "Galileo descubre las cuatro lunas de Júpiter" (Galileo discovers Jupiter's four moons) or "Antígona", represent more than just an idea about the character. There is no narrative, but just ideas. I don't have preferences, but needs.

CB: Which are your favorite composers? And what would you recommend to people who might say that they don't like contemporary music (and who possibly have not listened to much of it)?

ML: Obviously Mozart. He is at the top of the peak. But he's not the only one. From past centuries I could mention so many composers that they would not fit here. And from this century I am still filtering. Nonetheless, the most contemporary one remains Mozart. With regards to the second question, I would tell people to try to come closer slowly, to assimilate gradually the multiple languages that we are using. I always say that one is what one eats, and if they eat a little bit more contemporary dessert, they will look a bit chubbier and prettier. Obviously, people prefer music that is well known, they always want the same tale, like children that go to sleep and ask their mom or dad to read them for the 11th time "Cinderella", and if daddy says that he would like to read a new tale that he just bought, the child will still want "Cinderella." That is the moment when the father needs to seduce the child to incorporate in their imagination a brand new tale. Old shoes are always more comfortable even if the newer ones are catchier to the eye.

CB: I thank you so very much for your time and for sharing your knowledge and so many experiences with is. I am very excited to present your beautiful music in Sacramento, and to share it with our audiences!

ML: And I am very proud that it will be you who will be conducting it for the first time.

Marta Lambertini
Marta Lambertini was born in San Isidro (Buenos Aires, Argentina). She studied composition in the School of Music of the Catholic University of Argentina with Luis Gianneo, Roberto Caamaño and Gerardo Gandini.She taught at the National University of La Plata, National Conservatory of Argentina, School of Fine Arts in Quilmes, and the School of Music of the Catholic University of Argentina, where she also served as Dean and Full Professor.She is a member of the National Academy of Fine Arts. She has received multiple prizes, including the 1st Prize in the National Music Award, the City of Buenos Aires Music Prize, Career Prize APA in 1972 and 1975, and the Konex Award (1999).She has been a jury member in international composition competitions in Brazil and Argentina.She is the author of the book "Gerardo Gandini, music fiction". She was nominated for Opera Theatres of the World for her opera "Cinderella", and for the Clarín Award as the most important figure in classical music.Her output includes diverse instrumental and vocal genres. Her operas "Alice in Wonderland" (1989), "S.M.R. Bach" (1990), "Hildegard" (2002), "Cinderella" (2006) and multiple symphonic and chamber works are worth mentioning. 

[the original interview in Spanish follows]


Christian Baldini: Tu música siempre tiene algo de misterio. Es realmente como poesía pintada en la música. El Angel apasionado II tiene mucho de este misterio, de secciones que parecen construir un climax y luego van hacia otro lado. Que nos podes decir al respecto? 

Marta Lambertini: Creo que tenés razón. En el caso de Ángel apasionado II  trato de representar el misterio Mozart, por eso surgen esas profundidades que están latentes en el cuarteto La caza, pero que no se manifiestan. Trato de mostrarlas, de desenterrarlas de las profundidades del cuarteto, que en su superficie muestra un carácter amable. El compás 45 representa la 2ª parte del tema, revelada en todo su dramatismo. Por eso debe tocarse todo ese segmento de la forma más piano posible, casi como si fuera algo que viene de otro lugar, remoto, que más que oírse se adivina¡ppppp! ahí puse ppp, me pareció una exageración gráfica ponerle más de tres, pero por mí podría tener miles. Me encanta la idea de que la música se adivine, más que escucharse.

CB: Has escrito varias operas, uno podría decir que sos una compositora con una gran veta dramática, pero también con un sentido del humor poca veces visto en el ambiente musical. Como describirías tu relación con la humorada dentro de tus obras?

ML: Bueno, difícil pregunta. Me considero una persona con sentido del humor. Es un rasgo que tenemos todos sin excepción en mi familia: primos, tíos, sobrinos etc. Es un tipo de sensibilidad defensiva, si se quiere. Creo que inevitablemente se traslada a la música. Pero ojo, no es un humor que se ríe de cualquier cosa, a veces para conservar el sentido del humor hay que poner la cara muy seria. Yo te lo definiría con otra palabra más justa: absurdo. De ahí mi amor por Lewis Carroll, mis Alicias. El hecho de poder mantener una seria discusión sobre lingüística con un huevo que parece saber mucho del tema, o con una muy filosófica oruga, rebasa toda expectativa sobre el absurdo. En ese lugar elijo vivir.

CB: Que te resulta mas importante, la opera o la música sinfónica? Es una pregunta difícil. Tal vez no haya un orden de preferencia, pero posiblemente prioridades, o deseos en distintos momentos de la vida.

ML: Tal como decís, a veces es cuestión de prioridades. O de oportunidades. Hay temas que se prestan a un desarrollo lírico, a una representación teatral. Hay también pasos intermedios, como el teatro musical, que se presta más bien al género de cámara. Yo le pongo nombre a las obras. Hay otros compositores más sobrios y menos desparramados que yo, que llaman a sus obras sonata, sinfonía, preludio. a mí en cambio me gusta ponerles nombre: es un regalo que se le hace al oyente para darle un atisbo mínimo, una orientación sobre el contenido de lo que van a escuchar. Cuando no tenés un libreto, sino solamente una idea, hacés música sinfónica. En mi caso, obras como Galileo Descubre las cuatro lunas de Júpiter o Antígona, representan más que nada una idea sobre el personaje, no hay ningún relato, solo ideas. No tengo preferencias, sino necesidades.

CB: Cuales son tus compositores preferidos? Y que le recomenderías a la gente que dice que no le gusta la música contemporánea (y que posiblemente no ha escuchado mucha)?

ML: Obviamente, Mozart. Está en la cima. Pero no es el único, de los de siglos pasados puedo mencionar tantos que no cabrían aquí. Y de este siglo estoy filtrando todavía. Igual el más contemporáneo sigue siendo Mozart. Con respecto a la segunda pregunta, le diría a la gente que trate de acercarse lentamente para asimilar poco a poco los múltiples lenguajes que estamos usando. Siempre les digo que uno es lo que come, y si comen un poquito más de postre contemporáneo, van a estar más gorditos y más lindos. Claro, la gente prefiere la música más conocida, quiere siempre el mismo cuento, como los chicos que se van a dormir y le piden al papá o a la mamá que le lean por enésima vez La Cenicienta, y si el papá le dice que tiene uno nuevo que le acaba de comprar, el chico sigue prefiriendo La Cenicienta. Ahí es donde papá necesita seducir al chico para que incorpore en su imaginario un cuentito nuevo. Siempre son más cómodos los zapatos viejos aunque los nuevos sean más vistosos.

CB: Te agradezco muchísimo por tu tiempo y por compartir tu sabiduría y tantas experiencias con nosotros. Estoy ansioso por presentar tu hermosa música en Sacramento y compartirla con nuestro publico.

ML: Y yo muy orgullosa de que seas vos quien por primera vez la dirige.

Christian Baldini conducting the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra
Christian Baldini has conducted opera for English National Opera, Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires), Aldeburgh Festival, and as Music Director of the Mondavi Center's Rising Stars of Opera, in collaboration with the San Francisco Opera. He has been a guest conductor of important orchestras such as the San Francisco Symphony, Munich Radio Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfónica do Porto (Casa de Música), Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Chilean Chamber Orchestra, among others. His CD recording "Mozart: Arias and Overtures" conducting the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and soprano Elizabeth Watts gathered multiple accolades such as the BBC Classical Music Magazine Recording of the Month, Classic FM CD of the Week, and 5- and 4-star reviews from the specialized media including Gramophone, Sinfini, The Guardian, etc. He's the Barbara K. Jackson Professor of Orchestral Conducting at the University of California, Davis, and the Music Director of the Camellia Symphony Orchestra. He is also a published composer, and his works have been performed all over the world by the Daegu Chamber Orchestra (South Korea), Memphis Syphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lorraine (France), New York New Music Ensemble, Munich Radio Orchestra, etc. He is fortunate to count Marta Lambertini as one of his main composition teachers. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Christian Baldini in Conversation with Eric Zivian

In preparation for our performance of Ginastera's Piano Concerto No. 1, I had the pleasure of interviewing Eric Zivian, who will be our soloist for this wonderful tour the force.

Christian Baldini: What are some of the features of this concerto (Ginastera's Piano Concerto No. 1) that you find particularly interesting or attractive?

Eric Zivian: The piece has a propulsive energy that is very exciting! But some of my favorite passages are the contemplative ones like the beginning of the variation movement and the piano solo in the slow movement.

CB: Many people have pointed out an affinity or similarity between Ginastera and other composers, such as Bartok, or even Ligeti. How would you compare Ginastera to other composers?

EZ: The Scherzo movement has something in common with Bartok’s “night music”. In this piece Ginastera writes in a very modernist harmonic language, with tone clusters and other dissonances. But to my ear, the piece is quite Romantic in its expression.

CB: The last movement of the Concerto (Toccata concertata) is almost like a corrupted malambo, a staple Ginastera sound, but perhaps one could argue that it morphes into something else. How do you see this movement?

EZ: The movement has great rhythmic variety and a very infectious melody. The malambo (a gaucho dance) accompanied Ginastera since his early ballets, like Panambí or Estancia. This is about two decades later, and he's still using this same dance but presenting it under a different language. So I find it remarkable that in the Piano Concerto he is pushing the limits of what a malambo can be.... with lots of affectations and abstraction. I love it!

CB: How were your beginnings with music? What inspired you to become a professional musician?

EZ: I loved music from an early age, starting piano when I was 4 and composition when I was 6. With a few exceptions, it has been difficult for me to imagine doing anything else with my life.

CB: You are also a marvelous composer, and I had the pleasure of conducting your music (the world premiere of your Harpsichord Concerto). Tell me, how do you see this symbiotic relationship flourish between your two worlds, that of the performer and that of the composer? 

EZ: As a composer, I like knowing how it feels to perform, because it helps me with the theatrical element in music. And as a performer, I feel that I am able to get closer to the mindset of composers, because I can at least begin to imagine how they felt while they were writing. 

CB: What is the role of a composer nowadays? (this is a very big question, so please elaborate as much or as little as you'd like)

EZ: It varies a lot, depending on the individual composer. Some composers are very interested in contributing in some way to society, others more in communicating their ideas and feelings. As long as a composer is able to connect with an audience, however large or small, it seems to me that he or she is doing a good job. 

CB: Are there any other piano concertos that you would love to play after this one? Which ones?

EZ: The Ligeti piano concerto seems like a great piece, and I would be interested in learning that if I have time and opportunity. In a more traditional vein, I’ve never played the Brahms concerti with orchestra, and that would be great fun. These days I do a lot of my playing on fortepiano (historical piano). In that capacity, I will be playing Mozart's C minor concerto with the Portland Baroque Orchestra next spring, and hope to play many Mozart and Beethoven concerti on fortepiano in the coming years.

CB: Do you find comfort in art? What is the role of art in society nowadays? 

EZ: I do find comfort in practicing and performing music. It makes my body and mind feel at one with each other, in a way that nothing else can. Just as with composition, I don’t think there is any specific role of art in society. It depends on the artist, and not insignificantly to the audience or public as well. Art can and does enrich people’s lives in many different ways, and for that we can all be grateful.

Eric Zivian

Eric Zivian is a fortepianist, modern pianist and composer. He has performed with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, the Santa Rosa Symphony and the Toronto Symphony, among others. He will be performing Mozart’s C minor Concerto with Portland Baroque Orchestra in April 2019. He is a founder and Music Director of the Valley of the Moon Music Festival, a festival in Sonoma specializing in Classical and Romantic music on period instruments.
Eric is a member of the Zivian-Tomkins Duo, the Benvenue Fortepiano Trio, and the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. As a composer, he was awarded an ASCAP Jacob Druckman Memorial Commission to compose an orchestral work, Three Character Pieces, which was premiered by the Seattle Symphony in March 1998.
Eric studied piano with Gary Graffman and Peter Serkin and composition with Ned Rorem, Jacob Druckman, and Martin Bresnick. He attended the Tanglewood Music Center both as a performer and as a composer.

Christian Baldini (Photo: Justin Han © UC Regents)

Christian Baldini came to international attention when he conducted in Salzburg as a finalist for the Nestlé/Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award. He served as assistant conductor with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony. He has conducted opera for English National Opera, Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires), Aldeburgh Festival, and as Music Director of the Mondavi Center Rising Stars of Opera (San Francisco Opera). He has guest conducted the Munich Radio Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, National Symphony (of Argentina & Portugal), Orquesta de Cámara de Chile, Noord Nederlands Orkest. His Mozart CD recording (Linn Records) conducting the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with soprano Elizabeth Watts received 5-star reviews and was chosen as Recording of the Month by the BBC Music Magazine. Baldini’s compositions have been performed by the Memphis Symphony, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Southbank Sinfonia, New York New Music Ensemble, and are published by Babel Scores in Paris. Since 2009 he has been the Music Director of the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra (and the Barbara K. Jackson Professor of Orchestral Conducting), and since 2012 he has been the Music Director of the Camellia Symphony Orchestra in Sacramento, California's capital city.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Christian Baldini in Conversation with Enrique Arturo Diemecke

Maestro Diemecke conducting the Buenos Aires Philharmonic

Maestro Diemecke at the Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires), joining Christian Baldini to celebrate Baldini's operatic conducting debut with Strasnoy's World Premiere (Requiem for a Nun).

Christian Baldini: Maestro Diemecke, it is a real honor to have the opportunity to ask you a few questions for our audience to learn more about your music and your musical identity. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us! Your "Chacona a Chávez" is a great example of a piece that combines multiple aesthetics. You quote Handel (the Chaconne HWV 435), and you also combine your own voice and a joyful Latin American spirit, very imaginative use of diverse percussion instruments, from maracas to drums, to this Neo-Baroque Language that looks into the future. How would you explain your compositional process? Did you have the pleasure of meeting Carlos Chávez in person, and did this have an influence in you?

Enrique Arturo Diemecke: I composed this piece for the 100 anniversary of Carlos Chávez. He was the founder of many artistic organizations in Mexico, including the National Symphony. His legacy extended with the impulse of the Nationalistic movement in composition. One of his best known pieces is Chaconne in E for orchestra based on Buxtehude's organ chaconne. Chavez, like many other musicologists, have thought that the Dance chaconne was originated in Mexico. So I took a Handel chaconne with the idea of honoring Chavez.
I have added percussion instruments that were originated in both America and Europe to give the idea of going thru to the path with the rhythm as it went from America to Spain and then to France and Germany and then came back to America (Mexico).

CB: You are a world famous conductor, having lead some of the most important orchestras in Europe and North America, besides your great presence in Latin America, now as Artistic Director of the most important opera house in the continent, the historic Teatro Colón. How do you find time in your life to compose, combining your Music Directorships (Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Flint Symphony Orchestra)?

EAD: I have to say that the most difficult thing for a conductor is to build the repertoire, so I have had years conducting a vast number of compositions and thus created a "know how" that would make me able to just pick a work and perform it.

CB: What are some of the most memorable musical experiences you've gone through? And who are some of the people that inspire you the most? What are you most grateful for?

EAD: I have many great moments in my life and I have had great teachers starting with my father. Thanks to him in those early years of my childhood I was ready to have as a violin teacher one of greatest violinist of all times, Heryk Szering. But my idea was always to be a conductor so I went to study at the Pierre Monteaux School to be the assistant to Charles Bruck, one of the greatest conducting teachers ever.
If I have to mention of the best moments of my live is hard to just pick some since I consider that there are many. I have conducted so many wonderful orchestras in the world, as you just mention before. I had so many famous violinists, Perlman, Zukerman, Joshua Bell, Midori. And cellists, Rostropovich, Starker, Yo Yo MA, to name few, and many well known pianists and singers starting with Plácido Domingo, Jessy Norman, Ricciarelli, Battle, Araiza, Alagna, etc
With all of them I share memorables performances in many places in the world.

CB: Once again, Maestro, thank you for your time, and we very much look forward to featuring your beautiful Chacona a Chávez in the right context, in a program including Chávez's Sinfonía India, as well as a work by Marta Lambertini (Angel apasionado II) and by Alberto Ginastera (Piano Concerto No. 1).

EAD: Thank you for performing the dear piece of mine. Enjoy it as much as if it was your own. Best to you.

Enrique Arturo Diemecke with Joshua Bell

Enrique Diemecke is Artistic General Director of the famed Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. The first internationally acclaimed conductor to hold the position, he is in an unprecedented 12th season as Music Director of the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, and his 28th season as Music Director of the award-winning Flint Symphony Orchestra in Michigan.

The leading Mexican conductor of his generation, Enrique Diemecke enjoys an international recording, operatic, and concert career. He brings an electrifying balance of passion, intellect and technique to his performances. Warmth, pulse, and spontaneity are all hallmarks of his conducting – conducting that has earned him an international reputation for performances that are riveting in their sweep and dynamism. In the words of The New York Times, Diemecke is a conductor of “fierceness and authority.” A noted interpreter of the works of Mahler, Maestro Diemecke has been awarded a Mahler Society medal for his performances of the composer’s complete symphonies.

Maestro Diemecke is a frequent guest of orchestras throughout the world, most notably the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, French National Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, L’Orchestre de Paris, Residentie Orkest in The Hague, Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Residentie Orkest in The Hague, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane, the Russian National Orchestra, the Bogota Philharmonic, the Puerto Rico Symphony, Simon Bolivar Orchestra in Caracas, l’Orchestre National de Lorraine, the National Orchestra of Montpellier, the Valladolid Symphony, the ORCAM Madrid, L’Orchestre de Isle de France, and the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Houston, Minnesota, and Auckland.

Maestro Diemecke is an experienced conductor of opera, having served as Music Director of the Bellas Artes Opera of Mexico from 1984-1990, where he led more than 20 productions including Faust, La bohème, Salome, Elektra, Ariadne auf Naxos, Der fliegende Hollander, Rigoletto, Turandot, Madama Butterfly, and Roméo et Juliette. He has since returned as a guest conductor with new productions of Lohengrin, Boris Godunov, and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice.

Maestro Diemecke returned to opera as he opened the 2007-2008 season of the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires with a new production of Werther, followed by performances of Massenet’s Le Jongleur de Notre Dame with tenor Roberto Alagna in Montpellier, which was released by Deutsche Grammophon and awarded the prestigious Grand Prix de l’Academie du Disque Lyrique. He is a regular guest of the famed Teatro Zarzuela in Madrid, and was awarded the Jean Fontaine Orpheus d’Or Gold Medal for “best vocal music recording” by France’s Academy of Lyric Recordings for his recording of Donizetti’s The Exiles of Siberia with the L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Montpellier-Languedoc-Roussillon. Maestro Diemecke was previously honored with a Gold Medal from the Academy of Lyric Recordings with the Bruno Walter Orpheus d’Or Prize for “Best Opera Conductor” for his live recording of Mascagni’s Parisina, from the Radio France Festival.

With 20 years at the helm of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, Maestro Diemecke led the ensemble on a ten-city tour of the United States, culminating with a program of Latin American masterworks at New York’s Carnegie Hall. He and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México were nominated for “Best Classical Album” for the 3rd Annual Latin Grammy Awards, for their recording of Carlos Chávez’ Violin and Piano Concertos with violinist Pablo Diemecke and pianist Jorge Federico Osorio.

He is also frequently invited to festivals such as the Lincoln Center Summer Festival, the Hollywood Bowl Festival, Wolf Trap, Autumno Musicale a Como (Italy), Europalia (Brussels), World Fair Expo Sevilla (Spain), Festival International Radio France, and the World Orchestra Festival in Moscow where he led the Bogota Philharmonic.

Maestro Diemecke is an accomplished composer and orchestral arranger, and has conducted his Die-Sir-E, during the Mexican National Symphony Orchestra tour of the U.S. in 1999. The Die-Sir-E was commissioned by the Radio France Festival for the World Cup Final Concert in France in 1998. Maestro Diemecke was commissioned to write a tone poem for the Flint Symphony Orchestra, and his works Chacona a Chávez and Guitar Concerto have received many performances both in Europe and in the United States. During the 2001-2002 season, he gave the world premiere of his work Camino y vision, dedicated to President Vincente Fox, with the Tulsa Philharmonic.

Christian Baldini has served as Music Director of the Camellia Symphony Orchestra in Sacramento since 2012. He has also served as the Music Director of the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra and Barbara K. Jackson Professor of Conducting at the University of California, Davis, since 2009. With these orchestras he has conducted multiple world premieres, and local premieres of such important works as Varèse's AmériquesLuciano Berio's SinfoniaLigeti's Violin Concerto, and many relevant symphonic cycles like those by Sibelius, Brahms and Schumann.

Baldini has conducted opera at the English National Opera (most recently Verdi's Aida at London's Coliseum in November 2017), Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires (Dallapiccola's Il prigioniero, Dallapiccola's Volo di notte, and the world premiere of Oscar Strasnoy's Requiem), and the Aldeburgh Festival in England (Britten's The Rape of Lucretia). Since 2009 he has been the Music Director of the Rising Stars of Opera in collaboration with the San Francisco Opera at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, showcasing some of the most talented operatic singers of the young generation.

Baldini previously served as an assistant conductor with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony. His CD recording "Mozart: Opera Arias and Overtures" conducting the Scottish Chamber Orchestra was chosen as "Recording of the Month" by the BBC Classical Music Magazine, and received 4- and 5-star reviews by the specialized press. He is a frequent international guest conductor with appearances leading the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Munich Radio Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra (of Argentina and Portugal), Teatro Argentino de La Plata and the Florida Orchestra. He first came to international attention when he made his conducting debut in Salzburg at the Awards Weekend, chosen as one of three finalists selected among 91 applications worldwide.