Maximiano Valdés

Con-max-valdes-150Maximiano Valdés was born in Santiago de Chile into a family which dedicated itself to public service and the arts for generations. Demonstrating an early gift in music,the gifted young man began studying piano and violin at the Conservatory of Music in his hometown.

Later he moved to Rome where he studied composition and directing at the Academy of Santa Cecilia. Valdés was a brilliant student, who graduated summa cum laude in piano. Soon after graduation, however, he made the decision to shift his musical focus entirely by going from performer to director. In the following years he became a student of two influential European directors: Franco Ferrara and Sergiu Celibidache. These great musicians were instrumental in the development of his musical personality and his career.

His career as a conductor began in 1976 when he was appointed assistant director of the Teatro la Fenice in Venice. The following year he was guest conductor at the prestigious Tanglewood Music Festival.

A short time after his appearance at Tanglewood, he won first prize at the Nicolai Malko Competition for young directors in Copenhagen and the Vittorio Gui Competition in Florence. As a result, he received invitations to direct orchestras around the world.

In the late eighties, Valdés made his debut in the U.S. with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Two years later he was appointed the orchestra’s musical director, and held the position for almost 10 years.

Valdés’ impressive list of recordings includes works with the Royal Philharmonic in London, Monte Carlo Philharmonic, the Nice Philharmonic, and London Symphony. Currently he has an exclusive contract with Naxos to record works by Latin American and Spanish composers with the Symphony Orchestra of the Principality of Asturias in Spain. He served as that orchestra’s music director for 16 years.

In February 2008, Valdés was named Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. He also serves on the island as director of the Festival Casals in San Juan.