Alfred University News

Maestro Yuval Zaliouk returning to Alfred as conductor of MostArts Festival Orchestra

Maestro Yuval Zaliouk
Maestro Yuval Zaliouk

Born in Israel, a conductor of symphony orchestras from London to Toledo, OH, Maestro Yuval Zaliouk returns to Alfred University’s MostArts Festival on Sunday, July 7, for the fifth time to lead the MostArts Festival Orchestra through its sixth annual season in Miller Theater.


ALFRED, NY – Born in Israel, a conductor of symphony orchestras from London to Toledo, OH, Maestro Yuval Zaliouk returns to Alfred University’s MostArts Festival on Sunday, July 7, for the fifth time to lead the MostArts Festival Orchestra through its sixth annual season in Miller Theater.

In addition, the conductor will direct solo performances by internationally renowned classical pianists Joaquin Achucarro and André-Michel Schub, as well as New York-based violinist Blanca Cecilia Gonzalez. Also, under his direction, 14-year-old Christopher Zandieh of Syosset, Long Island, who won the 2018 MostArts Festival Grand Prize, will return to Alfred to perform in the opening night performance of the MostArts Festival Orchestra.

Zaliouk began serving as conductor or the MostArts Festival Orchestra in 2015 and looks forward to his annual summer visits to Western New York. “It’s a celebration of good music, both symphonic and chamber, and a joy of camaraderie and good music making,” he says. “I always come out of this particular event with the realization that classical music will live forever and exceptional talents will continue to make sure it does.”

Together, he and Alfred University Professor of Music Lisa Lantz, founder and artistic director of the MostArts Festival, have formed a partnership under which the orchestra has grown and matured. It is a role for which Zaliouk was perfectly suited. In 1980, he was appointed music director and conductor of The Toledo Symphony in Ohio, a position he held for nine years. During that period, the number of Toledo Symphony subscribers tripled, and the orchestra and Zaliouk eventually won first prize for Progressive Programming by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

Zaliouk has earned a national reputation as a champion of American and contemporary music, but he was born in Israel in 1939 and studied at the Haifa Academy of Music as a youth. He began his professional career as director and conductor of the Royal Ballet Company, in London, and subsequently held directorships with The Opera Studio, in Paris; the Edmonton Symphony, in Canada; and the Haifa Symphony, in Israel. Following his tenure as music director and Conductor of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, he was appointed conductor laureate of that orchestra.

He continues to conduct orchestras around the world and has conducted performances by both Achucarro and Schub. The former he describes as “a great musician and a great master of the piano, among the greatest pianists of our time”; Schub, he says, is “a pianist’s pianist … a wonderful musician and interpreter of the monumental piano works.”

And he looks forward to conducting the 14-year-old Zandieh on the opening night of the MostArts Festival, as well as Gonzalez the following night. The thought of returning to Alfred for the MostArts Festival, he says, always makes him happy.

“I find it hard to describe the pleasure and satisfaction this festival provides for me and all participants on both sides of the proscenium arch. …And at the end of the festivities comes sadness, having to wait another whole year until the next MostArts Festival.”

For more information on the 2019 MostArts Festival, which takes place July 7-13, including tickets sales, lodging, and workshops, visit www.alfred.edu/MostArts