Noted for her vibrant performances in a wide diversity of musical styles, Joana Carneiro has attracted considerable attention as one of the most outstanding young conductors today. In 2009 she was named Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony, succeeding Kent Nagano and becoming the third music director in the 40-year history of the orchestra. She currently serves as official guest conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra.
As a guest conductor, Ms Carneiro’s upcoming and recent highlights include her débuts at the Cincinnati Opera, Detroit, Gothenburg and New Zealand symphonies, returns to Toronto Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She opened the St Paul Chamber Orchestra’s season and led the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Renée Fleming as soloist.
In 2010, she led performances of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms at the Sydney Festival, which won Australia’s Helpmann Award for Best Symphony Orchestra Concert in 2010. Other appearances included those with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Norrköping Symphony, Prague Philharmonia, Puerto Rico Symphony, as well as the Macau Chamber Orchestra and Beijing Orchestra at the International Music Festival of Macau.
A finalist of the prestigious 2002 Maazel-Vilar Conductor’s Competition, Carneiro has worked with Maestros Kurt Masur and Christoph von Dohnanyi, conducted the London Philharmonic (as one of three conductors chosen for London’s Allianz Cultural Foundation International Conductors Academy), served as Assistant Conductor of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Music Director of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra of Los Angeles. From 2005 through 2008, she was an American Symphony Orchestra League Conducting Fellow at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where she worked with Esa-Pekka Salonen and led performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.
Carneiro is the 2010 recipient of the Helen M. Thompson Award, conferred by the League of American Orchestras. In 2004, she was decorated by the President of the Portuguese Republic with the Commendation of the Order of the Infante Dom Henrique.