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The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin Announce Two Conducting Appointments for 2019-20 Season

April 3, 2019

Erina Yashima to succeed Kensho Watanabe as assistant conductor 

Lina Gonzalez-Granados named conducting fellow 

(Philadelphia, April 3, 2019)––The Philadelphia Orchestra is pleased to announce two new conducting appointments beginning September 2019: Erina Yashima as assistant conductor and Lina Gonzalez-Granados as conducting fellow. Yashima will succeed Kensho Watanabe, whose term concludes at the end of the 2018-19 season. In her role, she will serve as cover conductor for, and provide assistance to, Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and guest conductors on artistic matters in preparation for and during rehearsals, in addition to participating in residency, touring, and educational activities. Gonzalez-Granados also joins the conducting roster to support the Orchestra up to 10 weeks per season, assisting Nézet-Séguin and guest conductors on special projects in addition to leading select community programs.

“It’s so exciting to welcome two tremendous conductors to our Orchestra family as we embark on one of our most groundbreaking seasons to date,” said Yannick Nézet-Séguin, music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra. “Both Erina and Lina have shown that they will bring their distinct flair and artistry to the podium, and I could not be more pleased with our decision to bring them on board.”

“The newly created conducting fellowship position speaks volumes to The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick’s commitment to education and to cultivating the next generation of conductors,” said Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky. “This passion will be evident through Erina’s assistantship and Lina’s fellowship, and I am confident that we are on a steadfast journey to shaping the musical leaders of tomorrow.” 

The two conducting appointments were the result of a wide-ranging selection process that reviewed nearly 600 applicants and included an audition with The Philadelphia Orchestra by a small group of final candidates.

Born and raised in Germany, Erina Yashima is currently in her third year as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprentice. In her role, she assists Music Director Riccardo Muti and conducts the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the CSO’s training orchestra. She has worked with musicians of the CSO as well as with guest artists and conductors, such as Yo-Yo Ma, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Christoph Eschenbach, Emmanuel Krivine, Edward Gardner, and Bramwell Tovey.

Yashima was one of the three finalists of the 2018 Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award and has performed with the Camerata Salzburg at the Salzburg Festival. She worked as assistant conductor to Zubin Mehta and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra during their Asia Tour in November 2018 and as cover conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl in September 2017. She made her debut at the Salzburg Festival in 2017 with Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor for children. She has conducted several opera productions in Italy with the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra and has served as répétiteur with conducting duties at the Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern in 2015. She has conducted concerts with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Transylvania State Philharmonic of Cluj-Napoca, Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo, and members of the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover in various education and chamber music series among others.

Yashima holds a diploma in piano and studied conducting in Freiburg and Vienna. She completed her studies at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin under the guidance of Christian Ehwald and Hans-Dieter Baum.

Lina Gonzalez-Granados is the 2017-19 Taki Concordia Fellow, a position created by conductor Marin Alsop to foster the entrepreneurship and talent of female conductors. In addition to her appointment as conducting fellow of The Philadelphia Orchestra, she will become conducting fellow of the Seattle Symphony in fall 2019. She has been the assistant conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival, Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States, and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, and she has worked as cover conductor of the London Philharmonic and the Nashville Symphony, working with artists such as Yefim Bronfman, Pinchas Zukerman, and Giancarlo Guerrero, among others.

Born and raised in Cali, Colombia, Gonzalez-Granados made her conducting debut in 2008 with the Youth Orchestra of Bellas Artes in Cali. She earned her master’s degree in conducting and a graduate diploma in choral conducting from New England Conservatory and is pursuing her doctoral degree in orchestral conducting at Boston University. Her principal mentors include Bernard Haitink, Bramwell Tovey, Stefan Asbury, and Marin Alsop.

Gonzalez-Granados is a staunch proponent of the music of Latin-American composers, work which earned her recognition as one of the “Latino 30 Under 30” by El Mundo Newspaper in 2016. In 2014, she founded Unitas Ensemble, a Boston-based chamber orchestra specializing in Latin-American music. Her work with Unitas Ensemble has yielded multiple world, North American, and American premieres, as well as the creation and release of the Unitas Ensemble album Estaciones, recorded alongside the Latin Grammy-winning Cuarteto Latinoamericano.



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Alexa Vecchione