Associate Conductor Victoria Gau
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.