Valérie Sainte-Agathe

The New York Philharmonic

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A native of Martinique, Valérie Sainte-Agathe has served as music director and principal conductor of the San Francisco Girls Chorus and Chorus School since 2013. She received her bachelor’s degree in choral conducting from Université Paul Valéry in Montpellier; her diplome d’études musicales in piano, chamber music, and theory from the Montpellier Conservatory; a master’s in management from the University of Montpellier; and a master’s in cultural project management from Paul Valéry University, where she led the choir Ecume. She studied piano performance at Colorado State University in Fort Collins and has served as a pianist for the Orchestre National de Montpellier and the Festival de Radio France, where she performed in concerts and recordings of works by contemporary composers such as John Adams, Michael Torke, and Steve Reich. She participated in numerous productions by the Opéra National de Montpellier and Opéra Junior, first as a vocal coach, then as a choirmaster; she was appointed artistic coordinator and music director in 2000. In 2005 she served as choir director for Paris’s second Vocal Art Biennale, and the Festival de Radio France with Armin Jordan for Humperdinck’s Die Königskinder, and worked with Emmanuel Krivine and Alain Altinoglu for Honneger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher. She also produced the World Premiere of Didier Lockwood’s jazz opera ¡Libertad! at Montpellier’s Opéra Comédie, prepared the Junior Opera Chorus in collaboration with the Regional Symphonic Choir (2008), and participated in 2010’s Victoires de la Musique for Faure’s Pavane accompanied by the Orchestra of Montpellier, as well as Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. In 2012 Ms. Sainte-Agathe participated in eight recordings with the Orchestre National de Montpellier and the Festival de Radio France. She is a recipient of the Victoires de la Musique and two Orphée d’or for Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher and D’Indy’s L’étranger.

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