Conductors

Chelsea Gallo, Resident Conductor

Underwritten by Suzette & Monroe Berkman
The R. K. Bailey Chair

Labeled a “rising star” within the conducting world (Anwar Nasir to the Associated Press), Chelsea Gallo has been praised for her ability to “lead the orchestra with grace and fiery command” (Michigan Daily).

For the 2023-24 season, Gallo will be resident conductor of The Florida Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, a cover conductor with the New York Philharmonic, a returning guest conductor with both the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and have debuts with the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra and Catapult Opera (NYC). She is a 2022 recipient of the prestigious George Solti Foundation USA Career Fellowship.

Past positions include assistant conductor of the Louisiana Philharmonic, conducting fellow with the Dallas Opera and conducting staff for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. As a guest conductor, Gallo has conducted the symphonies of North Carolina, Sarasota, Missouri, Bridgeport, Jackson, Lancaster, Youngstown, Toledo, the Hartford Opera, Marigny Opera, Slovak Sinfonietta, among others.

Devoted to expanding the reach of classical music, Gallo has collaborated with a variety of organizations, businesses and companies. Some of these entities include the Walt Disney Company, New York Yankees, NASA and the Lincoln Motor Company, among others. Gallo has described her conducting pursuits as “a devotion to sharing the relevancy and humanity within classical music.” With her affection for science and music, Gallo has collaborated on projects aimed toward uniting both worlds. She has worked with organizations such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Lockheed Martin, the National Institute of Aerospace and the European Space Agency. She led recording projects for the Orion ETF-1 launch mission. The ensemble became the official artistic ensemble for the Hubble Space Telescope 25th Anniversary Celebrations. She was recently invited on behalf of the nuclear engineering department at the University of Michigan to partner on a project geared toward encouraging creativity within the hard sciences by drawing parallels between running a nuclear reactor and leading a symphony orchestra.

An advocate of music by living composers, Gallo gave the Michigan premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s piece Helix, the American premiere of Michael Gordon’s Bassoon Concerto, and the world premiere of the ballet A Streetcar Named Desire by Tucker Fuller. She has also conducted works by Adolphus Hailstork, Carlos Simon, Courtney Bryant, Jessie Montgomery, Jennifer Higdon, Clarice Assad and more. As an opera conductor, she has conducted productions of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni, Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Giuseppi Verdi’s La Traviata, and Shuying Li’s Who Married Star Husbands. Gallo’s operatic conducting style has been described as “stylish, skillful and attentive” (Scott Cantrell, Dallas News).

Gallo studied conducting in Vienna, Prague and Banska Stiavnica in central Slovakia with the late Maksimilijan Cencic and Leos Svarovsky. In Vienna, she studied piano with Giorgi Latsabidze and violin with Barbara Gorzynska. Gallo holds a doctorate of musical arts from the University of Michigan where she was awarded the Helen Wu Graduate Fellowship in conducting. At Michigan she studied with conductor and educator Kenneth Kiesler and assisted Martin Katz and Kathleen Kelly on opera productions. Furthering her conducting education, she has attended festivals and masterclasses with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle and Daniel Barenboim.

Outside the concert hall, she enjoys reading, running and studying languages. She played professional fastpitch for the Vienna Wanderers.

Chelsea Gallo wearing a black blazer and pants and holding a baton
Photo credit: Miriam Bulcher