Camellia Symphony Music Director and Conductor: Christian Baldini

Christian Baldini is a dynamic artist with a pure and warm sense of musicality and a “keen ear for detail” (The Scotsman, Edinburgh). He guest conducts regularly several international orchestras including the Munich Radio Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra (D.C.), Orquestra Sinfonica do Porto (National Symphony of Portugal), Orquesta de Cámara de Chile, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and opera for the Aldeburgh Festival (United Kingdom) and the Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires). He recently served as cover conductor for Michael Tilson Thomas with the San Francisco Symphony, which resulted in an immediate return engagement. A CD recording (Mozart Arias and Overtures) conducting the Scottish Chamber Orchestra will be released in 2014 on Linn Records. Equally at home in the core symphonic and operatic repertoire as in the most imaginative and daring corners of contemporary music, he has presented world premières of over 80 works. When he made his debut conducting in South Africa, Moira de Swardt stated that “Passion and dedication intersect for a fabulous orchestral concert”. After conducting the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP, Brazil), critic Arthur Nestrovski from the Folha de Sao Paulo praised this “charismatic young conductor” who “conducted by heart Brahms’s First Symphony, lavishing his musicality and leaving sighs all over the hall and the rows of the orchestra….”

Baldini was a featured composer at the Acanthes Festival in France and the Ginastera Festival in London. His compositions have been performed by orchestras and ensembles including the Orchestre National de Lorraine (France), Southbank Sinfonia (London), Munich Radio Orchestra (Germany), New York New Music Ensemble, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Daegu Chamber Orchestra (South Korea), Chronophonie Ensemble (Freiburg) and the Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt). His music appears on CD on the Pretal Label, and has been broadcast on the Southwest German, Austrian and Bayern Radios, as well as on the National Classical Music Radio of Argentina. He has also conducted and recorded contemporary Italian music for the RAI Trade and Tactus labels. His compositions are published by Babel Scores in Paris.

As a conductor, Baldini was privileged to learn from Kurt Masur, Michael Tilson Thomas, Leonard Slatkin, Peter Eötvös and Martyn Brabbins. He holds degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo (Ph.D. in Composition), the Pennsylvania State University (Master’s in Conducting), and the Catholic University of Argentina (Bachelor’s Degree in Conducting and Composition). While living in Buffalo, he garnered rave reviews conducting Stravinsky’s L’histoire du soldat with members of the Buffalo Philharmonic at the Kavinoky Theater: “this piece by Stravinsky demands and rewards the listener’s attention, especially when performed with the skill and attention to detail that conductor Christian Baldini gave to it.” (Garaud MacTaggart, Buffalo News)

In 2012 Baldini made his conducting debut in Salzburg, when he was selected as one of three conductors out of 91 submissions worldwide for the Nestlé/Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award. Baldini’s work has received awards in several competitions including the top prize at the Seoul International Competition for Composers (South Korea, 2005), the Tribune of Music (UNESCO, 2005), the Ossia International Competition (Rochester, NY, 2008), the Daegu Chamber Orchestra International Competition (South Korea, 2008), and the Sao Paulo Orchestra International Conducting Competition (Brazil, 2006). He has been an assistant conductor with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Britten-Pears Orchestra (England) and a cover conductor with the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, DC) and the San Francisco Symphony. After teaching and conducting at the State University of New York in Buffalo, Baldini became the Music Director of the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra. Since 2012, he also serves as Music Director of the 52-year-old Camellia Symphony Orchestra in Sacramento. Baldini will make his debut conducting the San Francisco Symphony at Davies Hall in December 2014.