Music Director Search Finalists

We are delighted to announce that four 
finalists have been chosen by our dedicated Music Director Search Committee from a pool of over forty highly-qualified applicants. Our finalists are: Patrick Valentino, who will conduct October's concert, Lidiya Yankovskaya, who will join us for December's concert, Tiffany Chang, who will lead our March concert, and Andrew Altenbach who will close the season with us in May.  We look forward to working with them during our 2016 – 2017 season!

Patrick Valentino - October 22, 2016

Patrick Valentino’s conducting has been called “stirring”, “original”, “phenomenal” and “achieving wonderful results from the orchestra”. He currently serves as Artistic Director of the Boston New Music Initiative, an innovative organization that pairs the traditional concert season of a professional performing ensemble with the networking possibilities of an international collective of composers and performers. He is also the Music Director at St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish, where he leads the renowned choir from the newly restored 1915 Hook-Hastings organ, and is the Founder and Director of the Stella Concert Series which presents a wide range of music, from classics to world premieres, in the church’s beautiful natural acoustic.

Patrick has served as Assistant Conductor for the Ithaca College Orchestras, and made his operatic conducting debut in 2013 in Puccini’s Suor Angelica. He has conducted the Monmouth Symphony, Cornell Symphony Orchestra, Symphony NOVA, the Mihail Jora Philharmonic, Massive Brass, the Tempus Chamber Orchestra, and the St. Petersburg Music Society, among others. In addition to serving as Assistant Conductor to the Ithaca College orchestras, Patrick has been assistant conductor of the Westfield Symphony and Symphony NOVA, where he spearheaded educational outreach initiatives, and has worked as production manager for Boston Musica Viva, the oldest new music group in Boston. 

Patrick’s music has been performed by the Nashua Symphony, Monmouth Symphony, Central New Jersey Symphony, Oak Ridge Community Orchestra, the Brevard Music Center, Ariel String Quartet, and the brass ensembles of the Moscow Conservatory, among others. He holds degrees from Ithaca College, New England Conservatory, Montclair State University, and has studied at the Moscow Conservatory in Russia.

Last season Patrick led BNMI in their 7th Season, including the winning work of their 1st Young Composers’ Competition. This season BNMI partners with Luminarium Dance Company to create events that explore the nexus of movement and music. Recent premieres of his compositions include his first opera Monuments Men, as well as An American Fanfare, which was selected for the opening dedication concert of Leshowitz Hall at the John J. Cali School of Music. Current projects include Visions, a vibraphone concerto to be premiered in Spring 2017, and an artistic partnership with the Commonwealth Orchestra Outreach Project (COOP) of Lowell.
Lidiya Yankovskaya - December 11, 2016

Russian-born conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya currently serves as Artistic Director with Juventas New Music Ensemble and as a conductor with Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. Additional engagements this season include Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, Beth Morrison Projects, American Lyric Theater, New Opera NYC, Metro West Opera, Marin Alsop’s Cabrillo Festival, the Center for Contemporary Opera in NYC, and serving as the Chorus Master for several upcoming programs with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Lidiya is also a part of Marin Alsop’s Taki Concordia Fellowship and Dallas Opera’s Inaugural Institute for Women Conductors.  Prior engagements include serving as Music Director of Harvard’s Lowell House Opera and Commonwealth Lyric Theater, and as Assistant Conductor & Chorus Master with Opera Boston.  Lidiya was also a Conducting Fellow under Lorin Maazel at his Castleton Festival, where she assisted Maestro Maazel and regularly filled in for him in rehearsal and performance.  

Hailed by Pulitzer Prize winner for criticism Lloyd Schwartz as a “skillful and incisive musician,” Lidiya’s symphonic and operatic work has received critical acclaim and numerous awards. Recent projects include San Francisco productions of Boris Godunov and Iolanta with New Opera NYC; performances with National Sawdust’s Composer in Residence program; Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades and Britten's Midsummer Night's Dream (first place, The American Prize) with Lowell House Opera; Juventas New Music’s NEA-funded puppetry collaboration entitled Music in Motion; the world premiere performances and recording of the ballet HackPolitik; Rachmaninoff’s Aleko with Commonwealth Lyric Theater (winner of National Opera Association Award for Best Production in the Professional Category), Rimsky-Korsakov’s Snegurochka (the first fully-staged, Russian-language production of the opera in the U.S. and the work's New England premiere); and the world premiere of Isaac Schankler’s Light and Power with Juventas (winner of The National Opera Association Award and The American Prize for best professional production).

Yankovskaya holds a B.A. in Music and Philosophy (Phi Beta Kappa with Departmental Honors, focusing on piano, voice and conducting) from Vassar College and an MM in Conducting (Pi Kappa Lambda, on a full tuition Dean's Merit Scholarship) from Boston University.  While at BU, Lidiya also studied voice with Sharon Daniels, Director of the BU Opera Institute, and collaborative piano with Shiela Kibbe, chair of BU's Collaborative Piano Department.  When Lidiya is not on the podium, she enjoys swimming, hiking, skiing, sailing, and generally being outdoors whenever possible. More at
Tiffany Chang - March 18, 2017

Originally from Taiwan, Dr. Tiffany Chang is an increasingly versatile, award-winning conductor based in Boston, MA. She currently holds the position of Assistant Professor at the Berklee College of Music, where she teaches conducting. She also served as Acting Director of Orchestral Activities and Lecturer in Orchestral Conducting at Boston University. She is the founder and conductor of the New England Repertory Orchestra (NERO) rooted in Boston and serves as Music Director/Conductor for the North End Music and Performing Arts Center's (NEMPAC) Opera Project.

She has conducted the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, ALEA III, Xanthos Ensemble, Parkway Concert Orchestra, Richmond Symphony and Symphony Chorus (VA), Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Astoria Symphony, Oberlin College Symphony, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Greater Boston Asian American Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Dana Hall School of Music Summer Symphony. She has also served as Assistant Conductor for Boston University Tanglewood Institute's Young Artists Orchestra, the BU Opera Institute, BU All-Campus Orchestra, and the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestras. 

Chang received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from Boston University and previously earned degrees in cello performance, music education, composition, and music theory from Oberlin Conservatory. She studied orchestral conducting with David Hoose and Bridget-Michaele Reischl; other notable mentors include Gustav Meier, JoAnn Falletta, Robert Spano, Gunther Schuller, Ann Howard Jones, Kirk Trevor, Larry Rachleff, and Donald Schleicher. She studied cello with Amir Eldan, Hans Jensen, and Peter Reijto and composition with Amelia Kaplan and Jeffrey Kowalkowski.

Chang was named the 2014 Third Prize winner for The American Prize in both Conducting and Orchestral Performance (college/university orchestra division). Her musicianship and entrepreneurial spirit earned her the prestigious Kahn Career Entry Award, Pi Kappa Lambda Prize for Musicianship, Theodore Presser Scholarship, Ernest Hatch Wilkins Memorial Prize, and Boston University's Conducting Award.

Andrew Altenbach - May 21, 2017

Andrew Altenbach brings an energetic ingenuity to his symphonic and operatic conducting that continues to garner him national attention as a musical leader of his generation. Critically acclaimed for his deep sense of musical style and nuance, with a repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary works, Altenbach has conducted for such companies as Minnesota Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Birmingham, Opera Africa, Milwaukee Opera Theater, Opera on the James, and MetroWest Opera.

Altenbach is Director of Opera at the Boston Conservatory and has also conducted for Indiana University Opera Theatre and Temple University. He recently served as Artistic Director of the Boston Opera Collaborative, leading the company in several new productions, which received rave reviews. The Boston Globe recently wrote, “Altenbach built the drama with such point and purpose, it was as if Rossini were creating a new art form.” Altenbach has held coaching and conducting staff positions with several prestigious American opera companies, including the Santa Fe Opera, Music Academy of the West, Cincinnati Opera, and the San Francisco Opera Merola Program.

Andrew Altenbach serves as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Minnesota Bach Ensemble. Symphonic conducting credits include engagements with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He maintained great success as Music Director of the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra and has also conducted the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minneapolis Musical Offering Series, Brevard Music Center Orchestra, and Grand Harmonie in New York.

Altenbach served as associate conductor for the world renowned Grand Teton Music Festival under Donald Runnicles and previously held posts as music director for the North Shore Chamber Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, assistant conductor to the Evanston Symphony, and Conducting Fellow of the prestigious Chautauqua Institution. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Andrew Altenbach received degrees from Northwestern University and Indiana University.