BPO Music Director: 1989-1998
Born in Chile, Maximiano Valdes began his studies on the violin and piano at the Conservatory of Music in his native Santiago. He then entered the Accademia Santa Cecila in Rome where he studied composition, piano and conducting. After completing his diploma in piano he decided to concentrate entirely on conducting and enrolled in the conducting classes of Franco Ferrara in Bologna, Siena and Venice and also worked with Sergiu Celibidache in Stuttgart and Paris.
In 1976, Mr. Valdes was engaged as Assistant Conductor at the Teatro Fenice in Venice and the following year was named a conducting fellow at Tanglewood where he worked with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. He won the second prize from the Rupert Foundation Conducting Competition in London in 1978, First Prize at the Nicolai Malko Competition in Copenhagen in 1980, and the First Prize at the Vittorio Gui Competition in Florence.
From January 1984 until 1987 Valdes was the Principal Conductor of the National Orchestra of Spain. He has led the Orchester der Beethovenhalle in Bonn, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in Paris, the London Philharmonic Orchestra on tour in Spain, the Sonderjyllands Symphony in Denmark, and the Monte Carlo Philharmonic on a tour to Italy. In March 1990, he performed in Santiago at the inauguration of the new President of Chile, conducting the Orquesta Filarmonica de Santiago in a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. He was appointed Principal Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias in Asturias, Spain in the fall of 1994.
Mr. Valdes made his American symphonic debut in October 1987 with the Buffalo Philharmonic and was immediately re-invited for the following season after which he was awarded the position of Music Director in the fall of 1989. Valdes' tenure with the Orchestra raan through the 1988-89 season, and was marked by the BPO's continued excellence in both the standard and 20th century repertoire with many of the world's leading soloists. Valdes also initiated a continuing series of FM radio broadcasts over WNED.
Valdes' Buffalo appointment led to a variety of invitations to appear as a guest conductor of many leading orchestras in North America including the Saint Louis, Toronto, National, Montreal, Cincinnati, Seattle, Milwaukee, New Jersey and New World symphonies as well as the New York Chamber Symphony and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra. Summer festival appearances have included the Mann Music Center with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Caramoor, Waterloo, Interlochen, Symphony on the Prarie with the Indianapolis Symphony, Artpark, Chautauqua, Music Academy of the West and Grant Park in Chicago.
An experienced opera conductor who has led productions in many of Europe's leading opera houses, Mr. Valdes made his highly successful debut in France with La Traviata at the Nice Opera. Radio France then immediately engaged him for a concert featuring Orph‚e au Enfers and later for a concert with Jessye Norman at the Chatelet. He made his Paris Opera debut in January 1986 with Gounod's Romeo et Juliette starring Alfredo Kraus, and was re-engaged for Verdi's Don Carlos and Bellini's Norma. Additional opera activities include leading productions at the Rome and Bonn Operas, and in Berlin, London, Barcelona, Oslo, Copehnagen, and Santiago, Chile. He made his American operatic debut in May 1992 with the Seattle Opera conducting Mozart's Cosi fan tutte and returned there in the fall of 1998 to direct Gounod's Faust.
Mr. Valdes has already produced an impressive discography with a variety of orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic, Monte Carlo Philharmonic, Nice Philharmonic and the London Symphony. His most recent recording is with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of works by Ginastera, Revueltas, Moncayo and Carre¤o on the Dorian label. Maximiano Valdes curreently holds the post of Principal Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias in Spain.