One of Spain’s most promising conductors, JOSÉ-LUIS NOVO is currently music director and conductor of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO) in Maryland and recently concluded an impressive thirteen-year tenure as Music Director and Conductor of the Binghamton Philharmonic in New York state. Prior to these appointments, he served as Assistant Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under both former Music Director Paavo Järvi and the late Music Director Emeritus Jesús López-Cobos, and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra under the late Erich Kunzel. He has been on the conducting faculty at Eastern Music Festival since 1999.
Some of the ASO’s highlights during Novo’s tenure include yearly return appearances at the Music Center at Strathmore with violinists James Ehnes and Anne Akiko Meyers, cellist Lynn Harrell and guitarist Manuel Barrueco, a 2012 return appearance at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center with mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, national broadcasts on NPR’s “Performance Today,” and the launching of the ASO’s first commercial CD commemorating the 300th anniversary of the signing of Annapolis’ Royal Charter. Maestro Novo’s continuous drive for artistic excellence, innovative thematic programming, and collaborations with some of today’s most respected guest artists have resulted in unprecedented artistic growth, praising audiences, and enthusiastic reviews from publications such as the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun.
Recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements include debut appearances with the Rochester Philharmonic, the Palm Beach, Alexandria and South Bend Symphony Orchestras, and return appearances with the Thailand Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the Fresno Philharmonic, Symphoria, and a Kimmel Center debut in Philadelphia conducting the Curtis Institute Orchestra. Other guest conducting engagements have included, among others, appearances with the Symphony Silicon Valley; the Minnesota Orchestra; the Syracuse, Modesto, Windsor, Stamford, Tulsa, and Tallahassee Symphonies; the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra; the Cleveland and Abilene Philharmonics, and most of the major Spanish orchestras.
Novo has also developed a reputation as a keen educator of young musicians. He has held conducting positions with the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra, Miami University Symphony Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Spain and the Yale Symphony Orchestra, and from 2017 to 2019, he was Interim Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Maryland School of Music, College Park. In addition, he has conducted many noteworthy college and youth orchestras such as the Curtis Institute Orchestra, the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, the Bard Conservatory Orchestra, the Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra, and the Portuguesa State Youth Orchestra of the Venezuelan El Sistema.
Novo was featured in the League of American Orchestra’s Symphony magazine in “Podium Powers,” an article about emerging Hispanic conductors in the United States. He holds music degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Yale University, and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, and is the recipient of a 2010 Annie Award in Performing Arts from the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, a 2008 American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Adventurous Programming Award, and a 2005 Broome County Arts Council Heart of the Arts Award.