B i o g r a p h y
"Christian Baldini brings symphonic revival" commented the Buenos Aires Herald on Baldini's recent concerts at the Teatro Argentino featuring Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and Varèse's Amériques. Based in California, Baldini conducts regularly several international orchestras including the Munich Radio Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra (of Argentina and the US), Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto (Portugal), San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and Ensemble Dal Niente. Baldini recently made his debut conducting Verdi's Aida in London for English National Opera, and has conducted new productions at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, where he received the National Critics Association Award for best operatic performance. He has also conducted opera at the Aldeburgh Festival in England and as the Music Director of the Rising Stars of Opera at the Mondavi Center, in collaboration with the San Francisco Opera. Baldini made his conducting debut in Salzburg at the Awards Weekend when an international jury distinguished him and two other conductors out of ninety-one submissions worldwide for the Nestlé/Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award. From 2014 until 2016 Baldini served as cover conductor for Michael Tilson Thomas with the San Francisco Symphony. He made his debut conducting the SF Symphony in December 2014 and was immediately re-engaged as a guest conductor. During the 2014-15 season, Baldini conducted 11 concerts with the San Francisco Symphony, including 7 subscriptions.
Baldini was described by the international press as a conductor who “has a keen ear for detail” (The Scotsman, on his Scottish Chamber Orchestra debut) and who “left sighs all over the hall and the rows of the orchestra” (Folha de Sao Paulo, Brazil). When he made his conducting debut in South Africa, Moira de Swardt stated that “Passion and dedication intersect for a fabulous orchestral concert”.
Equally at home in the core symphonic and operatic repertoire as in the most daring corners of contemporary music, he has presented world premieres of over 100 works, and has collaborated with numerous composers including Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Thomas Adès, Brian Ferneyhough and Oscar Strasnoy. Baldini has been 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 the Pretal Label and has been broadcast in Germany by Südwestrundfunk and Bayerischer Rundfunk. 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, Peter Eötvös, Leonard Slatkin, Gerardo Edelstein, Andrea Pestalozza, Guillermo Scarabino 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).
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, the Britten-Pears Orchestra (England) and a cover conductor with the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.). After teaching and conducting at the State University of New York in Buffalo, Baldini became the Music Director of the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra in 2009. Since 2012, Baldini has also served as Music Director of the 59-year old Camellia Symphony Orchestra in Sacramento. Recent repertoire with these orchestras includes Luciano Berio's Sinfonia, Varèse's Amériques, Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, Scriabin's The Poem of Ecstasy, Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle and Concerto for Orchestra, multiple world premieres, as well as numerous works by Richard Strauss, Sibelius, Beethoven, and all the Schumann and Brahms symphonies.