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This season, we welcome four incredibly talented conductors as candidates to be Philharmonia's next Music Director.

Grete Pedersen

Grete may be known to some of you in her capacity as the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Carmel Bach Festival, a post she took up just last year. In her home country of Norway, she founded the Oslo Chamber Choir in 1984, and since 1990 has been Music Director of The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir, a role she gives up this year. Aside from her choral work she has led orchestras including the renowned Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic, Yale Camerata, and Oslo Sinfonietta.

Ruben Valenzuela

Ruben is Founder and Artistic Director of Bach Collegium San Diego (winners of the 2023 Laurette Goldberg Award from Early Music America), and has toured with them to Mexico and Bolivia. He’s busy appearing as a guest conductor with some of the top period instrument orchestras across the country, with recent or forthcoming appearances including Juilliard415 at Lincoln Center, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the Handel and Haydn Society. In addition to classical music, Valenzuela maintains a lifelong interest in Jamaican popular music of the late 1950s and 1960s, in particular Mento, Ska, Rocksteady, and early Reggae.

Peter Whelan

Hailing from Ireland, and with a career that now spans the world, Peter started his musical career as a bassoonist specializing in period performance before turning his hand to conducting. He is Artistic Director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and Artistic Partner of Irish National Opera, and recently made his debut at San Francisco Opera, conducting Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. Now UK-based, his recent appearances include the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Dunedin Consort, la festa musicale, Meininger Hofkapelle and Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra.

Avi Stein

Conductor, organist, and harpsichordist Avi Stein is Associate Organist and Chorus Master at Trinity Wall Street, teaches at The Juilliard School and Yale University, and serves as Artistic Director of the Helicon Foundation. Avi appears regularly as a continuo player with the Boston Early Music Festival, Quicksilver, and Bach Vespers NYC. He has also led the young artists’ program at the Carmel Bach Festival, and has guest conducted ensembles including Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Portland Baroque Orchestra.