Lidiya Yankovskaya’s recent work as a symphonic and opera conductor has been hailed as “superb,” “expert,” and “coax[ing] every possible expressive note from the instrumentalists.” Currently, Lidiya serves as Music Director of Harvard University’s Lowell House Opera, Artistic Director of Juventas New Music Ensemble (a professional instrumental ensemble based in Boston), Music Director with Commonwealth Lyric Theater (where she has worked with top artists from the Met Opera, Bolshoi Theater, La Scala, etc.), and also works regularly with Gotham Chamber Opera, Center for Contemporary Opera, and New York Lyric Opera in NYC. Last summer, Lidiya also served as a Conducting Fellow under renowned conductor Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival, where she had the privilege of assisting Maestro Maazel and filled in for him in rehearsal and performance. This season, Lidiya will also serve as Music Director on productions with Metro West Opera and New York Lyric Opera, and as Chorus Master/Rehearsal Pianist/Orchestra Rehearsal Conductor for Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra’s production of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera. Other notable recent work includes productions with Hubbard Hall Opera Theater, coaching Russian and conducting rehearsals with Tanglewood Festival Chorus (the chorus of the Boston Symphony) and serving as Assistant Conductor/Chorus Master with Opera Boston.
This season’s projects include Juventas performances with world-renowned flutist Carol Wincenc and an NEA-funded puppetry collaboration entitled Music in Motion, Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades with Lowell House Opera, and Hulak-Artemovsky’s Ukranian opera Zaparozhets za Dunayem with Commonwealth Lyric Theater. Recent projects include world premiere performances and recording project of the ballet HackPolitik by Peter van Zandt Lane (with People Movers Dance), productions of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with Hubbard Hall Opera Theater, Rachmaninoff’s Aleko with Commonwealth Lyric Theater (winner of National Opera Association Award for Best Production in the Professional Category), Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Lowell House Opera (first Place, The American Prize), Rimsky-Korsakov’s Snegurochka (the first fully-staged, Russian-language production of the opera in the U.S. and the work’s New England premiere), and the world premierer of Isaac Schankler’s Light and Power with Juventas (winner of The National Opera Association Award and The American Prize for best professional production).
A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Lidiya began her studies on piano at the Russian Specialized Music Schools and as a singer in the St. Petersburg Children’s Choir at age five. Soon thereafter, she also began playing the violin. Lidiya first performed as a conductor at age seventeen, when she lead her high school orchestra in the first movement of Dvořak’s Symphony no. 7. Lidiya’s conducting teachers and mentors have included Lorin Maazel, Kenneth Kiesler, Ann Howard Jones, David Hoose, Joshua Jacobson, Eduardo Navega, and Christine Howlett. She has also recently participated in workshops and masterclasses with Gustav Meier, JoAnn Falletta, Mark Gibson, Arthur Fagen, and Simon Carrington. As a singer, diction coach, and occasional rehearsal conductor with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus (chorus of the Boston Symphony), Lidiya has also had the opportunity to perform under the batons of James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, Rafael Frühbeck de Bergos, Charles Dutoit, Bernard Haitink, and others.
Lidiya holds a B.A. in Music and Philosophy, Phi Beta Kappa with Departmental Honors, focusing on piano, voice and conducting from Vassar College. Upon graduation from Vassar, Lidiya received the Francis Walker Prize as the top pianist in her graduating class. Lidiya also holds an MM in Conducting, Pi Kappa Lambda, on the prestigious full tuition Dean’s Scholarship, from Boston University. While at Boston University, Lidiya also studied voice with Sharon Daniels, Director of the Boston University Opera Institute, and collaborative piano with Shiela Kibbe, chair of BU’s Collaborative Piano Department.