Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship Announces 2024-26 Fellow & Award Recipients

By Afton Wooten

(Photos courtesy: TACF)

The Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship has named Alena Hron of the Czech Republic as its 2024-26 Fellow. It also announced the start of the Richmond Symphony Conducting Apprenticeship.

Along with Hron, Nefeli Chadouli of Greece has been selected as an Associate Fellow. Award Recipients include Jessica Altarriba, Cuba, Hannah Howard Andresen, Denmark, Micah Gleason, U.S.A, and Karen Ní Bhroin of Ireland. The conductors were selected out of 150 applicants from 42 countries.

Hron has conducted widely across her native Czech Republic, having led performances at the Prague Chamber Philharmonic, Hradec Králové Philharmonic, Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Zlín, Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra, and others. She studied conducting, composition, and arranging at the Prague Conservatory and works regularly with the Prague Philharmonic Choir. She also co-founded and led the award-winning Punkt chamber choir.

Chadouli is the conductor of the Babylon Orchester Berlin and founded the Youth Orchestra at the National Conservatory of Greece in 2014.  Chadouli has conducted numerous ensembles in both Germany and Greece, and participated in masterclasses for both symphonic and opera repertoire.

Altarriba was recently named the New Jersey Symphony’s first-ever Colton Conducting Fellow for the 2023–24 season, while she is also a Freeman Conducting Fellow with the Chicago Sinfonietta. She has worked with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Peabody Symphony Orchestra, and Lüneburg Symphoniker to name a few.

Andresen has led several of Norway’s professional orchestras, including the Bergen Philharmonic, and the Kristiansand, Stavanger, and Trondheim symphony orchestras, and was a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival. In addition to her podium work, she teaches Ensemble Leadership at the University of Stavanger in Norway, and lectures on the subject of Gender and Music, challenging stereotypes and exploring the portrayal of women in the field of conducting and within the classical music industry, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to breaking barriers.

Conductor and mezzo-soprano Gleason is the current Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music and was a participant in the 2024 Hart Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera. She has conducted The Orchestra Now and the Dallas Opera Orchestra. She has also served as the assistant conductor for productions with Opera Philadelphia and The Glimmerglass Festival, and led concerts at Chamber Music Northwest, Philharmonic Society of Orange County, and at the 92nd Street Y.

Bhroin makes her debut with the London Symphony Orchestra this season, and returns to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and Manchester Camerata. As a partner with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, she is developing and conducting the orchestra’s community and relaxed programs over the next three years. She is also the Creator of the podcast “And Other Duties, The Life of the Assistant Conductor” and Co-Founder of the And Other Duties conducting courses.

“As we enter our 22nd year, it gives me enormous pride to announce a new cohort of Fellows and Award Recipients,” said the TACF founder and acclaimed conductor Marin Alsop in a press release. She continues by saying, “The skill level of our applicants is inspiring, giving me great hope for the future of women in this field. These emerging conductors have such talent, curiosity, creativity, and promise—I can’t wait to see how they flourish. I’m gratified that the community we’re creating through this fellowship is, in turn, creating more opportunities for women on podiums around the world. This is the kind of growth in the field we’ve been hoping for.”

The Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship has also announced that in the 2024-25 season, the Richmond Symphony, led by Music Director and 2015 TACF Fellow Valentina Peleggi, will launch the first Richmond Symphony Conducting Apprenticeship with conductor Claire Lewis. Throughout the season, she will work with the top musical organizations in Virginia such as the Richmond Symphony, Virginia Opera, and Richmond Ballet, and with Peleggi and other Richmond Symphony staff conductors, as well as artistic teams from connected organizations.