Photo by Kate Lemmon

Photo by Kate Lemmon

Music Director
Chicago Opera Theater

Refugee Orchestra Project

Russian-American conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya is currently the only female Music Director in the top 50 opera companies in the United States.

In addition to her role as Music Director with Chicago Opera Theater, Lidiya is a Resident Artist at National Sawdust in NYC, founder of the Refugee Orchestra Project and, until recently, served as the Artistic Director of Juventas New Music Ensemble and the Boston New Music Festival. Under her artistic leadership, Juventas produced annual operatic premieres and performances that crossed disciplinary boundaries, including collaborations with robots, puppeteers, visual artists, and circus performers.

Her conducting engagements this season include Washington National Opera, Chicago Philharmonic, Spoleto Festival USA, Beth Morrison Projects, Wolf Trap Opera, Stamford Symphony, and a workshop of a new opera with The Metropolitan Opera. She is part of The Dallas Opera’s Hart Institute for Women Conductors and Marin Alsop’s Taki Concordia Fellowship and served as assistant conductor to Lorin Maazel.

She has appeared as Conductor with Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, as a regular Guest Chorus Master with Boston Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Conductor and Chorus Master with Opera Boston, and Music Director with Harvard’s Lowell House Opera.

Lidiya has become known as an advocate of living composers and of lesser known Russian repertory operatic works. In her work with Chicago Opera Theater, she has continued to champion new work, including the newly-launched Vanguard Initiative, a program for the mentorship of emerging opera composers and development of new operatic work.



Beth Stewart