Lauded by critics for her “strong sense of style and drama” (
Washington Post) and her “enthusiastic and perceptive conducting”, conductor
Victoria Gau brings a wide range of musical experience and expertise to
the CCS, which she has led since 1997. She is also Associate Conductor
and Director of Education for the National Philharmonic and Artistic Director
of the Takoma Ensemble.
Maestra Gau is well-known in the Washington DC area for her work as Artistic
Director and Music Director/Conductor of the Other Opera Company in Bethesda,
Maryland, which she co-founded in 1992. She has also served as music director
for such Washington area companies as The Washington Savoyards, Victorian
Lyric Opera Company, Annapolis Opera Musicales, the Eldbrook Opera Ensemble,
and the IN-Series. Orchestral guest conducting includes the Alexandria
(VA) Symphony, the Akron (OH) Symphony, the Friday Morning Music Club
Orchestra, and she has been a guest conductor for the Kennedy Center Messiah
Sing-Along. She is the former Conductor and Music Director of the Richmond
Philharmonic Orchestra in Richmond, VA.
Known as a strong advocate for American composers and for fostering ongoing
expression in music, Ms. Gau has conducted premieres of works by Jorge
Martin, Charlie Barnett, Scott Pender, and Nebal Meysaud. This season
she will conduct world premieres of works by Alistair Coleman and Kim
and Kathryn Kluge, and the local premiere of a work by Joel Phillip Friedman.
Ms. Gau is in demand around the region as a conductor and string educator
at youth orchestra festivals and workshops. She conducts the National
Philharmonic Summer String Institute Middle School Orchestra annually
and is the former conductor of the Young Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, an
elite group of string players from the DC Youth Orchestra Program. She
has conducted youth orchestras in Virginia, Ohio, and New York. Upcoming
engagements include SOGA (Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia), and
the Vermont (2017) and Maryland (2018) All-State Orchestra festivals.
Ms. Gau has served on the opera faculty at George Mason University, and
worked with vocalists privately and in the Crittenden Opera Studio. She
has toured with Cleveland Opera, performing throughout northern Ohio,
as well as Odyssey Opera Theatre and the Baltimore Opera Company, performing
educational outreach in schools throughout the state of Maryland. Ms.
Gau holds degrees in Viola Performance and Conducting from the Oberlin
Conservatory of Music, where she won the Phi Kappa Lambda Prize for Musicianship.