Conductor Juraj Valčuha is recognized for his effortless expressiveness and depth of musicianship. With sharp baton technique and natural stage presence, the impressive ease of his interpretations translate even the most complex scores into immersive experiences. His profound understanding of composer and score, taste, and naturally elegant style make him one of the most sought-after conductors of his generation.
Since 2016 Valčuha has been Music Director of the Teatro di San Carlo, Naples and First Guest Conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin. He was Chief Conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI from 2009 to 2016.
The 2005–2006 season marked the start of his international career with exciting concerts on the podium of the Orchestre National de France followed by remarkable debuts in the U.K. with the Philharmonia London, in Germany with the Munich Philharmonic, and in the United States with the Pittsburgh Symphony. His Italian debut took place at Teatro Comunale in Bologna with a sensational production of La Bohème.
He has since led the Berlin Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, hr Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Vienna Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, BBC Symphony, Philharmonia London, Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Maggio Musicale in Florence, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Milan’s Filarmonica della Scala, Montréal Symphony, and NHK and Yomiuri orchestras in Tokyo. His active career in the U.S. has taken him to the orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Utah. He enjoys regular collaborations with orchestras in Houston, Minnesota, New York, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco.
International touring with the Orchestra Sinfonica della RAI took them to the Musikverein in Vienna and the Philharmonie in Berlin, as well as Cologne, Düsseldorf, Zurich, Basel, and Munich, and to the Enesco Festival in Bucharest, and to Abu Dhabi Classics. He has also toured with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin to Riga, Vilnius, and Tallinn to mark the 100th anniversary of the Baltic nations.
Valčuha champions the compositions of living composers and aims to program contemporary pieces in most of his concerts. He has conducted world premieres including Christopher Rouses´s Supplica with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Steven Mackey’s violin concerto with Leila Josefowicz and the BBC Symphony in Manchester. In 2005 he conducted, in the presence of the composer, Steve Reich´s Four Sections at the Melos-Ethos Festival in Bratislava. Other composers he has supported and continues to follow with interest are Bryce Dessner, Andrew Norman, Luca Francesconi, James MacMillan, and Steven Stucky, among others.
On the opera stage, he has conducted Madama Butterfly, Elisir d‘amore, and Marriage of Figaro at the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich; Faust and The Love for Three Oranges in Florence; Jenufa, Peter Grimes, and Salome in Bologna; La Bohème in Venice; and Elektra, Carmen, Bluebeard’s Castle, Die Walküre, The Girl of the Golden West, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Katja Kabanova, and Pique Dame in Napoli.
In January 2020, he conducted an opera production of Tristan and Isolde at Teatro Comunale in Bologna, at the end of which the complete lockdown was introduced in most European countries. However, he was priviledged during the pandemic year to conduct many livestreamed performances with Teatro San Carlo (Tosca with Anna Netrebko and Cavalleria Rusticana with Elina Garanca and Jonas Kaufmann), RAI Orchestra in Turin, Orchestre National de France, Konzerthaus Berlin, and NDR Orchestra Hamburg. In the U.S. he was one of the few conductors to travel from Europe and make music with the Dallas, Houston, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh orchestras.
Juraj Valčuha was awarded the Premio Abbiati 2018 from Italian Music critics in the category Best Conductor.
Born in Bratislava, Slovakia, he studied composition and conducting in his birth place, then at the Conservatory in St Petersburg (with Ilya Musin), and, finally, at the Conservatoire Supérieur de la Musique in Paris.