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Giancarlo Guerrero, a native of Costa Rica, became the seventh music director of the Nashville Symphony at the beginning of its 2009-2010 season. Since 2011, he also has been principal guest conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra Miami Residency.
Biography and career
A fervent advocate of new music and contemporary composers, Guerrero has collaborated with and championed the works of several of America’s most respected composers, including John Adams, John Corigliano, Osvaldo Golijov, Jennifer Higdon, Aaron Jay Kernis, Michael Daugherty, and Roberto Sierra. His first recording with the Nashville Symphony, on Naxos, of Michael Daugherty’s Metropolis Symphony and Deux Ex Machina, won three 2011 Grammy Awards, including the category of Best Orchestral Performance. Two more albums were recently released of the music of Argentine legend Astor Piazzolla and of American composer Joseph Schwantner.
In summer 2011, Guerrero led the Philadelphia Orchestra in concert at Mann Center, and in addition conducted the orchestra in their summer residencies at Vail and Saratoga. This followed a busy 2010-11 season that included guest conducting engagements in five continents: Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America. Furthermore, he now returns annually to Caracas, Venezuela to conduct the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar and to work with young musicians in the country’s much-lauded El Sistema music education program.
In recent seasons he has appeared with many of the major North American orchestras, including the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, San Diego, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC; as well as at several major summer festivals, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Festival, and Indiana University summer orchestra festival. He is also establishing an increasingly visible profile in Europe, where his recent engagements have included return appearances with Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Orchestra and a UK debut at the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Equally at home in opera, Guerrero worked regularly with the Costa Rican Lyric Opera and has conducted new productions of Carmen, La Bohème and Rigoletto. In February 2008, he gave the Australian premiere of Osvaldo Golijov’s one-act opera Ainadamar at the Adelaide Festival, to great acclaim.
In June 2004, Guerrero was awarded the Helen M. Thompson Award by the American Symphony Orchestra League, which recognizes outstanding achievement among young conductors nationwide.
Guerrero holds degrees from Baylor University and Northwestern. He was formerly the music director of the Eugene Symphony (2001–2008); associate conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra (1999–2004), where he made his subscription debut in March 2000 leading the world premiere of John Corigliano’s Phantasmagoria on the Ghosts of Versailles; and music director of the Táchira Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela.
Giancarlo Guerrero has won two Grammy Awards in his career:
- 2011: Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance for Daugherty: Metropolis Symphony; Deus Ex Machina
- 2012: Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo for Schwantner: Concerto for Percussion & Orchestra (with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and soloist Christopher Lamb)