Italian conductor Valentina Peleggi is Mackerras Fellow at English National Opera, Principal Conductor of the Sao Paulo Symphony Chorus, and Guest Music Director at the Theatro Sao Pedro (also in Sao Paulo) specialising in Italian opera.
In the 2019 - 2020 season at ENO she conducts their production of Carmen and three performances of Orpheus in the Underworld, having debuted last season with La Boheme. Her Sao Paulo plans include Rossini’s Italiana in Algieri and a Villa Lobos a capella CD for Naxos with the Sao Paulo Symphony Chorus. Symphonic debuts this season include a UK tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and subscription weeks with the Bournemouth Symphony and the BBC Scottish Symphony, in which she will premiere a new orchestration of Alma Mahler songs by Roxana Panufnik (specially commissioned by the BBC for Peleggi). She will return to the Orchestra della Toscana in her home town of Florence, conducts two successive weeks with the Richmond Symphony in Virginia (USA), and makes her first appearance in Holland conducting the Residentie Orkest. Last season’s highlights included a return to the Baltimore Symphony and her debut with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in a concert (broadcast live) of works by rediscovered composers Florence Price and Augusta Holmes.
She won the APCA Prize in 2016 as Conductor of the Year from the Paulistan Society of Critics of Arts and was voted “Young Talent of 2017” by readers of Brazil’s specialist music magazine Revista Concerto.
The first Italian woman to enter the conducting programme at the Royal Academy of Music of London, she graduated with distinction and was awarded the DipRAM for an outstanding final concert, as well as numerous prizes along the way. She assisted Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Semyon Bychkov, Christian Thielemann and furthered her studies with David Zinman at the Zurich Tonhalle. She holds a Master in Conducting from the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Rome with honours, and in 2013 was awarded the Accademia Chigiana’s highest award, going on to assist Bruno Campanella and Gianluigi Gelmetti at Teatro Regio di Torino, Opera Bastille Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Teatro Regio di Parma and Teatro San Carlo. Together with the Orchestra Nazionale della RAI she assisted at a live worldwide broadcast and DVD production of Rossini's Cenerentola. Peleggi nurtures strong connections with her fellow musicians; from 2005 to 2015 she was the Principal Conductor and Music Director of the University Choir in Florence, and remains their Honorary Conductor, receiving in 2011 a special award from the Government in recognition of her work there. She won the 2014 Conducting Prize at the Festival International de Inverno Campos do Jordão, received a Bruno Walter Foundation Scholarship at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California, and the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship 2015 - 2017 under Marin Alsop.