Montclair Orchestra partners with Valissima Institute

MONTCLAIR, NJ — The Montclair Orchestra has announced that Valissima Institute has selected it as a partner for its pilot summer program. Designed for aspiring young female conductors, the two-week intensive will feature renowned conductors, including former New York Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra chief conductor Karina Canellakis. The rigorous program provides an opportunity for elite precollege female instrumentalists performing at the highest levels to experience conducting an orchestra under the mentorship of industry professionals. 

“A fresh and inventive approach to education through lively collaboration is the foundation of both of our organizations, making the Montclair Orchestra the perfect partner for Valissima’s inaugural summer intensive” said Serena Benedetti, Valissima Institute founder and executive director.

Female conductors have historically received fewer opportunities to lead orchestras, though progress has been made in recent years. 

“The future for orchestras includes a diverse range of musicians on stage, including on the podium,” Montclair Orchestra President Andre Weker said. “The Montclair Orchestra is proud to be part of an initiative that leads the way for women to take on that role more prevalently, and demonstrating that previous norms will no longer be a barrier for musicians of all ages.”

A final free public concert will take place at South Orange Performing Arts Center on Sunday, Aug. 8.