Barcelona Symphony Orchestra Hires New Principal Guest Conductor
Stephanie Childress will assume the role for two concert seasons as of 2024
The Franco-British conductor Stephanie Childress will serve as the new principal guest conductor of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra (OBC) for the 2024/25 and 2025/26 concert seasons.
She will succeed OBC’s current guest conductor, Marta Gardolińksa, who will continue conducting its concerts through March and April this season.
Childress, 24, made her debut leading the OBC in 2021 during the orchestra’s tour of Catalonia, and led them again the following year, including at the Mozart Summer Nights Festival featuring VC Artist Kian Soltani as the soloist.
More conducting engagements have included the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, l’Orchestre de Paris, and the London Symphony Orchestra. This season, she will debut with the Hamburg Staatsoper, Cleveland Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Poland’s Radio Symphony Orchestra National, and Detroit Opera.
Also a violinist, she has been featured on BBC Radio 3 and was a string finalist in both the Royal Overseas League Competition and the 2016 BBC Young Musician Strings category. In 2017, she led the Young Virtuosi Festival as artistic director.
Childress will lead the OBC on April 27 and 28, 2024, in a concert program dedicated to Chopin and featuring pianist Yulianna Avdeeva.
“I am truly honored…to be strengthening my ties to an organization that has been dear to me since our first meeting,” Childress said in the press release. “As the orchestra takes dynamic steps forward, I am delighted to be making this next step in my career alongside such wonderful musicians and a dedicated team led by Maestro Morlot.”
“Rarely does it happen that a young artist generates such a forceful and consistent impact on the sector, which is increasingly attentive to new voices and renewed leadership on the circuit,” added Robert Brufau, director of the L’Auditori, where OBC performs. “Her incorporation is a new opportunity to position our institution as an international benchmark, not only musically, but also as a reflection of the rich and complex social reality that surrounds us.”