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NHCO History

Past Conductors

Jonathan Brandani, 2013 - 2014

Jonathan is a graduate of a two-year Master of Music in Orchestra Conducting program at the Yale School of Music, where he was the Assistant Conductor of the Yale Philharmonia.

He has conducted a.o. the Wiener Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica Puccini, Webern Symphonie Orchester, Maribor International Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica di Firenze, Haydn Symphonietta, Delphi Chamber Orchestra and Royal Camerata Bucharest.  In 2012, he was appointed Musical Director of Lucca Opera Festival (Lucca, Italy); since then he has conducted new productions of Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Cosi fan Tutte.

A passionate interpreter and scholar of Early Music, Jonathan has played harpsichord and organ continuo with several renowned European Early Music ensembles, including Concerto Köln, I Barocchisti and Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera, ArteMusica, Oltremontano.

Jonathan studied Orchestra Conducting at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, where he graduated with full marks and honors in 2012.  At the same University, he also studied Opera Conducting/Répétiteur and Choir Conducting.



Paolo Bortolameolli, 2012 - 2013

Paolo Bortolameolli is a graduate both of the Arts Faculty of Universidad de Chile where he studied conducting with Professor David del Pino Klinge and from Pontificia Universidad Católica where he studied Piano with Professor Frida Conn.

He has completed his Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting at Yale School of Music, under the guidance of Maestro Shinik Hahm. 

He has studied with leading conductors in master classes, including Neeme Järvi, Pavo Järvi and Leonid Grin at the Järvi Summer Festival and Academy where he conducted concerts with the Pärnu City Orchestra and Estonian National Youth Orchestra; with Jorma Panula at El Escorial in Madrid, and with Peter Gülke at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

In Chile, he was the Principal conductor of a Youth Orchestra for the last 3 years and Assistant conductor of the Orquesta USACH.  

He has performed along with the Orquesta de la Universidad de Concepción and the National Symphonic Orchestra of Perú.

As a pianist, Paolo won in 2003 the first prize of the National Chopin competition and in 2005 the National competition for young Soloists playing Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto Nº1 along with the National Symphonic Orchestra of Chile.   


Yang Jiao, 2011 - 2012 

Yang Jiao is a graduate of Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, where he studied conducting with Professor Xin Xu and Maestro Yi Zhang and was assistant conductor to Maestro Yongyan Hu.  He has completed his Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting at Yale School of Music, where he studied with Maestro Shinik Hahm. 

     In 2006, Mr. Jiao won Third Prize at the Shenzhen National Conducting Competition in China. Since that time, he has been invited to conduct at the Beijing Modern Music Festival annually.  In 2007, Mr. Jiao took part in the London Symphony Orchestra’s Asia Tour, where he attended a master class with Maestro Daniel Harding and conducted the famous orchestra.

     Since 2007, Mr. Jiao has been the resident guest conductor of the Lanzhou Symphony Orchestra and the resident conductor of the Beijing Institute of Technology University Symphony Orchestra.  He has also been the conductor of the Golden Tail Symphony Orchestra of Beijing No. 22 Middle School Symphony Orchestra and EOS Orchestra Academy; he led performances of both orchestras in 2009 at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing.  Mr. Jiao has also received warm praise by local audiences and critics for the performances of the Golden Tail Symphony Orchestra during their 2010 France Tour.

     Additionally, Mr. Jiao has conducted many other ensembles in his home of China and abroad, including: China Youth Symphony Orchestra, Chorus of China Youth Symphony Orchestra, Chorus of China Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra, China Opera and Dance Symphony Orchestra, China Central Opera Symphony Orchestra, China Youth Chinese Orchestra, China Central Chinese Orchestra, Chorus of Shanghai Opera, Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, Jiangsu Symphony Orchestra, Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra, Kunming Symphony Orchestra, Macau Youth Symphony Orchestra and most recently, The Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale.

     Though studying and working as a conductor, Mr. Jiao has never abandoned playing piano to this day. In August 2004, he won Second Prize in the First National Piano Competition for the German Beethoven Festival. The piano trio, established for only one year at the time, recently produced its first recording.  Mr. Jiao later performed Arnold Schoenberg’s Ode to Napoleon together with the Shanghai String Quintet and professor Michael Friedmann from Yale University.


Farkhad Khudyev, 2010 - 2011

Farkhad Khudyev comes originally from Turkmenistan Ashgabat, where he first studied violin and composition with Zinaida Ahmedzhanova and Vera Abaeva at the Special Music School for the most gifted musicians of the country. He distinguished himself at the age of 10 as the youngest performer ever selected to play with the National Violin Ensemble of Turkmenistan and at age 12, he won a scholarship to attend the New Names Festival in Suzdal, Russia, which was sponsored by the Moscow Conservatory. He came to the United States in 2001 under a full scholarship from the Interlochen Arts Academy and then completed his Bachelor of Music degree under a full scholarship at the Oberlin Conservatory, studying with Milan Vitek and Bridget Reischl. He received his Master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Shinik Hahm. 

Mr. Khudyev is the winner of the coveted Grand Prize and the Golden Medal of the National Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in 2007 as the member of Prima Trio. He has toured around the United States and Europe receiving highly acclaimed reviews both as a violinist and composer. He is a recipient of the honorable mention from the 2004 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer awards, held at New York’s Lincoln Center, for his symphonic work Turkmenistan. In June 2006, he won a prize and at the 30th Annual Glenn Miller Competition. His other awards include the Neil Rabaut Composition Prize, winner of Yale School of Music's 2010 Chamber Music Competition and debut performances of his trio “Fleeting Miniatures” at the Tribeca New Music Festival in New York. 

Mr. Khudyev has served as the assistant conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale and New Music New Haven ensemble as well as the guest conductor of the Yale Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Khudyev served as the Music Director of the Saybrook Orchestra and the principal guest conductor of the Ashgabat Chamber Orchestra.

Adrian Slywotzky, 2007 - 2010

Adrian Slywotzky conducted the New Haven Chamber Orchestra from fall 2007 through summer 2010. He also conducted the Yale Medical Symphony and served as the interim conductor of the Greater New Haven Youth Orchestra during the 2008-2009 season. Since 2005, Adrian has been on the conducting staff of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras and has taught at the Elm City ChamberFest since its inception. As a violinist, Adrian has participated in festivals including Tanglewood Music Center, California Summer Music, and the Norfolk Contemporary Music Festival. Adrian holds a BA in Architecture from Yale College; as an undergraduate, he conducted the Jonathan Edwards Chamber Players and the Berkeley College Orchestra. He earned his MM in Violin Performance from the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Wendy Sharp. He is currently pursuing a MM in conducting from the Yale School of Music.

Gordon Emerson, 2004 - 2007

The late Gordon Emerson dedicated his life to creation and performance of music and had been widely influential in the New Haven music scene as a professional percussionist, conductor and composer. He was the principal percussionist of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra for over 30 years. He also founded and conducted the New Haven Brass Ensemble and the New Haven Percussion Ensemble. Emerson was dedicated to enhancing the musical culture and amateur musicians of New Haven. He was the conductor of the Civic Orchestra of New Haven for 37 years. He founded the NHCO in 2004 and was its musical director until June 2007.