Roberto Front

Music Director Laureate

After 10 Seasons, Roberto Minczuk was named Music Director Laureate of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra starting in the 2016/2017 Season.

A protégé of Kurt Masur, Brazilian-born Roberto Minczuk is a conductor and musician of international prominence. He is the recipient of several distinguished awards and prizes including a 2004 Latin Grammy for best classical album, Symphonic Jobim; a 2004 Emmy for the program New York City Ballet – Lincoln Center Celebrates Balanchine 100; and a 2001 Martin E. Segal Award which recognizes Lincoln Center’s most promising young artists.

He has received numerous honours in his native country of Brazil, including two best conductor awards from the São Paulo Association of Art Critics and the coveted title of Cultural Personality of the Year. The Academic Orchestra of the Campos do Jordão International Winter Festival (of which he was Artistic Director) was the Carlos Gomes prize-winner and the CD recorded during the 2005 Festival garnered the TIM Award for best classical album.  In 2009, he was awarded the Medal Pedro Ernesto, the highest commendation of the City of Rio de Janeiro; and in 2010, he received the Order of the Ipiranga State Government of São Paulo. In 2014, under his baton, the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra won the Silver Lion Prize at the Cannes International Festival and the Clio Awards for its publicity campaign, Classics Behind the Classics. The campaign was also a finalist of the New York Festivals World´s Best Advertising awards. Following these achievements, in 2015, the Brazilian Symphony under Roberto Minczuk’s baton released the app Clássicos Animados (Animated Classics) that won the FWA digital prize as Mobile of the Day.

Maestro Minczuk is firmly established as one of his generation’s brightest talents. He debuted in the United States conducting the New York Philharmonic in 1998 and in 2002 he was invited to assume the post of Associate Conductor, a post last held by Leonard Bernstein. Minczuk has conducted 93 orchestras throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. His North American engagements of the last seasons include these orchestras: New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Minnesota, San Francisco, St. Louis, Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary. In Europe, his engagements have included the orchestras of: London, Wales and Scottish BBC Symphony Orchestras; London, Liverpool, Oslo, Hallé, Rotterdam, Bergen, Barcelona, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Odense, Helsinki, Netherlands, Ireland, France, Lyon, Belgium, Lille and Scotland. He has conducted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Tokyo Philharmonic and Yomiuri Symphony.

In 2006, he filled in for an ailing Kurt Masur and assumed responsibility for much of the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s U.S. tour period, winning major critical acclaim and accolades. In 2009, Minczuk conducted, for the first time in the world, the complete Bachianas Brasileiras cycle in only one concert with the Tokyo Philharmonic.

Along with his major roles with the CPO and OSB, Minczuk is currently the Artistic Advisor of the Canadian arm of Youth Orchestras of the Americas (YOA Canada); and also a member of Artistic Advisory Board of the Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York. He has held the positions of Artistic Director of the Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, Co-artistic Director and Associate Conductor of the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, and in 2005 he was its Principal Guest Conductor. He was the Associate Conductor with the New York Philharmonic from 2002-2004. He has acted as Co-artistic Director and Associate Conductor of the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, being Principal Guest Conductor in 2005; and was also the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Ribeirão Preto Symphony and the Principal Conductor of the Brasília University Symphony. He held the post of Artistic Director of the Campos do Jordão International Winter Festival for six years.

As a child prodigy, Minczuk was a professional musician by the age of 13. He was admitted into the prestigious Julliard School at 14 and by 16, he had joined the Orchestra of the Municipal de São Paulo as soloist horn player. During his Juilliard years, he appeared as soloist with the New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall and the New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concerts series. Upon his graduation in 1987 he became a member of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra at the invitation of Maestro Kurt Masur. Returning to Brazil in 1989, he studied conducting with Eleazar de Carvalho and John Neschling. He won awards as a young horn player, including the Mill Santista Youth Award in 1991 and I Eldorado Music.

His three recordings with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra include Rhapsody in Blue: The Best of George Gershwin, and a full cycle of Beethoven Symphonies. 1 & 3 and 5 & 8 have been released with more to come. With the London Philharmonic, he recorded works by Ravel, Piazzolla, Martin and Tomasi (released by Naxos); seven CDs with the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra including the complete Bachianas Brasileiras, Brazilian Dances and Beethoven (released by BIS); four CDs with the Academic Orchestra of the Campos do Jordão International Winter Festival including works by Dvořák, Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky; and one CD with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra including pieces by José Maurício Nunes Garcia. In April 2010, he recorded a DVD with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia featuring the premiere of Hope: An Oratoria, composed by Jonathan Leshnoff. In June 2010, the CD accompanying BBC Music Magazine featured Minczuk conducting the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in Tchaikovsky’s Italian Capriccio. In June 2011 he made a recording with the Odense Symphony of Poul Ruders’ Symphony No. 4 which was featured as a Gramophone Choice in March 2012. Minczuk’s recording of Bachianas Brasileiras with the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra is considered by Gramophone Magazine as one of the best recordings of this work in the world, with Gramophone stating that “Minczuk’s is the only real choice for the complete Bachianas – his set, with most alternate versions, is at least a match for its rivals where not demonstrably better, and with finer sound.” (March, 2012).

Maestro Roberto Minczuk lives in both Calgary and Rio de Janeiro with his wife Valéria and their four children: Natalie, Rebecca, Joshua and Julia.