Conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya is a fiercely committed advocate for Slavic masterpieces, operatic rarities, and contemporary works on the leading edge of classical music. Since her appointment as Elizabeth Morse and Genius Music Director of Chicago Opera Theater in 2017, Yankovskaya has led the Chicago premieres of Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick, Rachmaninoff’s Aleko, Joby Talbot’s Everest, Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta, and Mark Adamo’s Becoming Santa Claus, as well as the world premiere of Dan Shore’s Freedom Ride. Her daring performances before and amid the pandemic earned recognition from the Chicago Tribune, which named her 2020 Chicagoan of the Year. Yankovskaya’s 2022–23 season includes a series of major orchestral debuts, including performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Sacramento Philharmonic, Knoxville Symphony, and Richmond Symphony, as well as the New York Philharmonic. She returns to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for their MusicNOW series, conducting a work by CSO composer-in-residence Jessie Montgomery. She also makes her Santa Fe Opera debut in a new production of Dvořák’s Rusalka, Staatsoper Hamburg with Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, and English National Opera, conducting a new staging of Górecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. She leads the world premieres of Paola Prestini’s Edward Tulane at Minnesota Opera and Justine F. Chen’s The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing at Chicago Opera Theater, where she also conducts the Chicago premiere of Szymanowski’s Król Roger. Lidiya Yankovskaya has recently conducted Bizet’s Carmen at Houston Grand Opera, Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Seattle Opera, Donizetti’s Pia de’ Tolomei at Spoleto Festival USA, Weber’s Der Freischütz at Wolf Trap Opera, Ricky Ian Gordon’s Ellen West at New York’s Prototype Festival, and Kamala Sankaram’s Taking Up Serpents at Washington National Opera and Glimmerglass. Recent concert engagements include Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, and Rhode Island Philharmonic, as well as Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields with Bang on a Can All-Stars and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street at Carnegie Hall. An alumna of Dallas Opera’s Hart Institute for Women Conductors and the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship, Yankovskaya served as assistant conductor to Lorin Maazel, assisted Vladimir Jurowski via a London Philharmonic fellowship, and was featured in the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview. She is a two-time recipient of the Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award.
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