Who We Are

Music Director: Valentina Peleggi

Since her appointment on July 1, 2020 Music Director Valentina Peleggi has revitalized the Symphony’s artistic output. While focusing on developing the orchestra’s own sound she has also launched new concert formats, joined national co-commission partnerships, started a 3 year composer in residence programme, launched conducting masterclasses in collaboration with the local universities, and championed neglected composers from diverse backgrounds. During the pandemic she sat on the jury of the first virtual Menuhin Competition hosted by the Richmond Symphony. Highlights of the 22/23 season include a ground-breaking augmented reality project, also Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony and a special concert with soloist Yo-Yo Ma. Peleggi is the Richmond Symphony’s sixth Music Director, and first woman in that leadership role.


Peleggi’s engagement came after a two year search to replace former Music Director Steven Smith, who stepped down at the end of the 2018-19 season after a distinguished decade of service. The Search Committee, comprised of symphony musicians and board members, unanimously selected Peleggi after she spent two weeks with the Symphony, garnering overwhelming support from the orchestra.


Elisabeth Wollan, who led the Search Committee, commented: “Within hours of Ms. Peleggi’s first interaction with the Symphony, members of the search committee knew she was very special, and by the time of her Symphony Series concerts, there was unanimous agreement that she was “the one.”  We have brought some wonderful and charismatic conductors to the stage this season, but Ms. Peleggi stands out as a superb and passionate leader who brings to the orchestra a remarkable depth of musicianship, a charming connection with audiences, and a deep respect for the RS’s commitment to this community.  She is inspiring!  We cannot wait to welcome her to Richmond.”


David Fisk, (Former Executive Director), echoed this enthusiasm for a future under Peleggi’s musical direction: “I am delighted that the Richmond Symphony has attracted Valentina Peleggi: her growing international reputation as one of the brightest talents of her generation makes her an exciting new addition to the American symphonic world. We look forward to her taking the orchestra to new heights, and to all we can do under her leadership to reinforce our commitment to making music – and music education – accessible to everyone, in the many communities we serve.”


Read full press release HERE