In the coming season, Maestra Valdés will lead concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra,  the Victoria Symphony of British Columbia, the Zagreb Philharmonic, and the  Saskatoon Symphony alongside her continuing duties in Edmonton and Vancouver  Island. 

She has the honor of being invited to be a permanent cover conductor for the San  Francisco Symphony (where she assisted Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen for the  2023 California Festival Stravinsky Les Noces project) and a cover conductor for the  New York Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the St. Louis Symphony among  others. 

Cosette has guest conducted in Europe with the Stuttgart Philharmonic, the Orchestra  of the Theater Heidelberg, the National Theater Mannheim and the Württemberg  Chamber Orchestra in Germany as well as the Plovdiv Philharmonic of Bulgaria. In  Canada, she has been a regular face with the National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa  and has worked with the remarkable musicians of I Musici de Montréal, the Calgary  Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra in addition to her  yearly appearances with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and the Saskatoon  Symphony Orchestra. 

Ms Valdés maintains strong ties to her native Cuba, where she is celebrated as the  Honorary Director of the prestigious Orquesta Sinfónica de Oriente in Santiago, in  Cuba’s musical heartland, an orchestra she led as Music Director for nine years early in  her professional life. During that time, seconded by an administrator and a librarian, she  single-handedly managed and directed the 80-musician ensemble, developing an  extensive repertoire of classical and contemporary music, jazz and pop, while  championing both new and traditional Cuban music. As a frequent guest conductor of  the Orquesta Nacional de Cuba in La Habana, she also premiered many works by  Cuba’s musical luminaries including Leo Brouwer, Alfredo Diez Nieto, Roberto Valera,  and many more.  

Cosette employs her varied duties at the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra to champion  the cause of music education for concert-goers of all ages. She is equally at ease  leading programs from the Masters, Pops, or Kids series, garnering praise from critics,  audience, and musicians alike for her “vivacity,” and “inspiring, precise, fiery” conducting  (Mark Morris, Edmonton Journal). 

Her position from 2019 as Assistant Conductor and since March 2022 as Resident  Conductor of the Edmonton Symphony has been notably distinguished by her work as a  Community Ambassador, a role through which she has developed an exceptionally  warm, rewarding, and highly visible relationship with orchestral patrons and with  prominent members of the city’s vibrant arts community.  

Maestro Valdés also serves as Artistic Director of the Youth Orchestra of Northern  Alberta, Edmonton’s Sistema- based Symphony-administered program which provides  free music education to many hundreds of children from Edmonton’s priority  neighborhoods and from its surrounding First Nations communities.  

Ms Valdés’ special passion for connecting the jazz universe to the symphonic world has  brought her together on the same stage with such extraordinary multidisciplinary artists  as Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kinan Azmeh, Harold López Nussa,  Yaroldy Abreu Robles, Mayquel González, and the Mambo Kings of New York. 

Cosette Justo Valdés holds a bachelor’s degree in conducting, as a protégé of  Professor Jorge López Marín, from the Instituto Superior de Arte (La Habana, Cuba)  and a master’s degree in conducting as a prized student of the revered Professor Klaus  Arp, from the Staatsliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst (Mannheim,  Germany).  

In 2022 Ms Valdés was nominated for a Heinz Unger Award 2022 by the Ontario Arts  Council of Canada.

With her “incisive presence on the podium,” “emotive …without being in any sense  showy” (Mark Morris, Edmonton Journal), Cuban-born conductor Cosette Justo Valdés  has emerged as a rising star on the world concert stage. Beloved as a musician who  wins the respect of her colleagues and the hearts of audiences, Ms. Valdés currently  serves as the Resident Conductor of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (Alberta,  Canada) and the Artistic Director of the Vancouver Island Symphony (British Columbia,  Canada).  

Her debut appearances this season with L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, the  Pacific Symphony Orchestra (Orange County, California), the Winterthur Symphony  (Switzerland), the Utah Symphony, the Brevard Music Festival (North Carolina) and the  Sacramento Philharmonic mark the tempo of a conducting career whose recent past  highlights include a “mindblowing” (Ottawa Citizen) collaboration with Esperanza  Spalding and the National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa, a celebrated production of  Mozart’s Così fan tutti at the Edmonton Opera which she conducted from the  harpsichord, two self-curated concert experiences merging the music of living  composers with the words of living poets at the Edmonton Symphony, the birth of a new  opera by Ian Cusson “Indians on Vacation”, with a libretto by Royce Vavrek, and the  world premiere performances of compositions written by Indigenous Canadian  composers from all corners of Canada including cellist and Carnegie Hall artistic partner  Cris Derksen, as well as four uniquely staged and theatrical renderings of Handel’s  Messiah with four different orchestras.  

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