Marin Alsop’s Italian protégée lands a US post

The Richmond Symphony in Virginia has named Valentina Peleggi as its next music director, starting in July.

She was conductor-in-residence with Marin for two years in Sao Paolo and shares the same agent.

The selection process was interrupted by the virus crisis. Only four out of five candidates were auditioned. The fifth has claimed he is the victim of an injustice.

 

 

 

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  • If the “fifth” one was, indeed, not auditioned then he has a valid grievance. Why was the Symphony in such a hurry?

    • Richmonder here. I have a hunch that the orchestra was concerned about financials during this pandemic, and this announcement helps with fundraising and keeping the symphony in the public eye. Plus, the orchestra loved her. The last candidate certainly has the right to be aggrieved, but that’s likely why they went ahead with the announcement.

      • I’m sure the orchestra loved her and I’m not discussing whether she is or isn’t right for the job. But the process has been tainted by this rush and appointing a M.D. to keep the symphony “in the public eye” is bad business, pandemic or not.

      • That’s a terrible decision. Ending the audition process before it’s over, especially one of this magnitude? Do what is right and people will you respect you for it. Now this appointment will forever be tarnished as it should be.

  • This was truly unfair process. To call the 5th candidate a week before his concerts to tell him that he is no longer a candidate due to the virus. I would think that good organization would do all it can to make sure that all the candidates are heard and fairly judged. Extending search during this time should have been prioritized. This approach and move says a lot about the organization.

  • Peleggi conducted a nice production of Rossini’s ‘L’italiana in Algeri’ last year in the brave Sao Pedro Theatre, the smaller opera house in Sao Paulo, with an excellent young tenor as Lindoro: Anibal Mancini. I was there and I wish her good luck.

  • sometimes the ball hits the net and bounces into the opponents court. Other times it hits the net and lands in your own court.

    This time it worked out for the young lady. If the candidate who is aggrieved is any good, he/she will find another orchestra.

  • This is a shameful and pathetic decision by Richmond Symphony. Everyone involved in this decision she ashamed by their actions and I hope this isn’t the end of it. The last candidate is an incredible musician and went though a painstaking multi-year process to get to this point, only to have the opportunity taken away from him with almost no notice and no acknowledgement of the injustice. I hope the board immediately reconsiders and continues to see the process out and bring back the final candidate as soon as concerts resume

    • The process is an audition, this is not a competition. The orchestra has the right in their own INTERVIEW process to offer the job to someone, as opposed to extend the search for another season and screw up another season. Covid-19 ruined the rest of this season. Is it fair to screw another season, at a time for such instability for all orchestra, just to help that guy with his “right” to interview?????

      • Unpleasant reality, but a good point. They can run the audition process the way they want. They probably considered the possible PR downsides and decided it was more important to get somebody in place for next season than to extend the process for another year.

        BTW Ling Ling, this was a finalist who was going to guest-conduct a concert, not someone who was simply going to have an interview to see if he should be advanced to the next round.

  • This is a Terrible decision by Richmond Symphony to not finish the audition process. Everyone involved in this decision she ashamed by their actions and I hope this isn’t the end of it. The last candidate is an incredible musician and went though a painstaking multi-year process to get to this point, only to have the opportunity taken away from him with almost no notice and no acknowledgement of the injustice. I hope the board immediately reconsiders and continues to see the process out and bring back the final candidate as soon as concerts resume. I’m sure Peleggi is a fine musician as well and it is an injustice to her as well to tarnish her win by announcing it in such a way

    • In these days if the candidate was a man, he had no chance against a young woman. That is what the audiences are being told to demand. Worst thing can happen to a conductor now is being an european white cisgender male conductor aged 35-50.

      • Frau Geigerin: we just hired “an european white cisgender male conductor aged 35-50” as our music director. We had a number of promising female candidates.

    • The process is an audition, this is not a competition. The orchestra has the right in their own INTERVIEW process to offer the job to someone, as opposed to extend the search for another season and screw up another season. Covid-19 ruined the rest of this season. Is it fair to screw another season, at a time for such instability for all orchestra, just to help that guy with his “right” to interview?????

      • Terrible choice no matter what, i get it. But I still don’t understand the rush. Why make the announcement before the final candidate was even set to take the stage? Why not take some time to see if there was a feasible date to reschedule his trial first? Why not take some time to consider the consequences and the optics of making a rash decision like this? Shows terrible leadership and decision making skills by management. Now her appointment is clouded by both Coronavirus AND the injustice of not allowing the final candidate to have his voice heard.

  • This process is about moving the Orchestra forward, not about appeasing any particular candidates. If any orchestra makes such a decision because it believes the result will be best for the organization, then it is the orchestra’s prerogative. To say that the orchestra should have to wait another season, possibly more, before it can have Artistic Leadership is incredibly selfish. The orchestra made the right decision, the players were overwhelmed by the Maestra’s conducting weeks and they boisterously supported her appointment. I don’t believe orchestras should be interested in working with individuals who would hold their personal feelings ahead of the success of the organization. No question it is unfortunate, but to say it is unfair to him is very one-sided

  • How ridiculous. The fifth person didn’t even get to audition? Who does that serve? Valentina likely feels bad that maybe she didn’t really “win” and that person didn’t have a chance to audition. This is crazy. Why the rush to hire Valentina?

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