Valdes to audition for Chautauqua Symphony - Gusto
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Valdes in running for Chautauqua Symphony post

Former Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director Maximiano Valdes is currently the music director of the Puerto Rico Symphony. But he seems to be drawn back to Western New York.

Valdes is in the running for the post of music director of the Chautauqua Symphony. He and seven other candidates being considered for the job will be taking turns conducting the orchestra at the Chautauqua Institution this summer.

Valdes’ first concert is at 8:15 on July 29. He is conducting Brahms’ Third Symphony. The concert opens with Manuel De Falla’s “‘La Vida Breve’ Interlude and Dance,” and the centerpiece is “Beyond the Silence of Sorrow,” by the contemporary composer Roberto Sierra. The soloist is soprano Leela Subramaniam, a 2013 and 2014 District winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Returning to the podium on July 31, Valdes is conducting the Essay No. 1 of Samuel Barber and Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5 in E flat. In between is Tchaikovsky’s ever-popular Piano Concerto No. 1, featuring Ukrainian-born pianist Stanislav Khristenko.

Valdes was the music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra from 1989 to 1998. He was succeeded by the current BPO music director, JoAnn Falletta. In 2001 he married a Buffalo woman, Jody E. Snyder.

The Chautauqua Symphony is celebrating its 86th season this summer. The other conductors under consideration are Marcelo Lehninger, Rossen Milanov, Roberto Minczuk, Cristian Macelaru, Bruce Hangen, Christof Perick and Daniel Boico.

Admission to either of Valdes’ concerts is $40. Call 357-6250 or visit


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