Julian Pellicano’s voracious musical appetite makes him a formidable interpreter of the symphonic repertoire. He is currently resident conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Artist in Residence at the Norfolk Chamber Music festival, and music director of the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra.
Pellicano has built his career by following an unconventional path. The creation, with Dr. Paul Lehrman, of a new performance edition of George Antheil’s Ballet Mecanique first brought Pellicano to the public’s attention. From 2009 to 2013 he served as music director of the Longy School of Music Conservatory Orchestra where he developed the orchestra’s repertoire, engaged world-class soloists, and establishing a rigorous and distinctive new orchestral program.
Pellicano has conducted the Orquestra Sinfonica de Porto Alegre (Brazil), Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Eastern Connecticut Symphony, New Britain Symphony, The Kallisti Ensemble, Boston’s Dinosaur Annex Ensemble, Milwaukee’s Present Music, and conducted at Carnegie Hall with the Yale Philharmonia Orchestra.
Conductor of the Norfolk Contemporary Ensemble since 2008, Pellicano is recognized for his transparent interpretations of contemporary music. His many premieres include the first performances of Martin Bresnick’s critically acclaimed opera My Friend’s Story at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, the first American performance of Hans Werner Henze’s Drei Geistliche Konzerte with trumpeter Joel Brennan. In 2010, he released a recording of Ingram Marshall’s Peaceable Kingdom with the Yale Philharmonia on New World Records, and his performances have been broadcast on WQXR (New York City). Pellicano has toured Turkey conducting new pieces that blend both western and Turkish classical instruments, collaborated with Soprano/Director Susan Narucki and the Kallisti Ensemble conduting Pascal Dusapin’s opera To Be Sung, and has performed with many world-class soloists including pianist Ann Schein, baritone Thomas Meglioranza, composer/pianist Timo Andres, and electric guitarist Andy Summers (The Police).
Pellicano was a recipient of the 2008 Presser Music award and developed his core musical philosophy while traveling to observe world-renowned conductors Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim, David Robertson, Bernard Haitink, John Adams and Michael Tilson Thomas in rehearsal with the great orchestras of the world. He completed a fellowship in conducting at the Yale School of Music where he was assistant conductor of the Yale Philharmonia Orchestra, working with Music Director Shinik Hahm as well as guest conductors including Sir Neville Marriner, Helmuth Rilling, Reinbert De Leeuw and Peter Oundjian. In addition, he has conducted in masterclasses with Kurt Masur, Peter Eötvös, Zsolt Nagy, Martyn Brabbins, Carl St. Clair, L’Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
As a young musician he played drums, percussion, organ, and accordion in rock, blues and jazz groups. An autodidact, he was accepted to the Peabody Conservatory as a percussionist without any formal training. Pellicano holds degrees from Johns Hopkins University, the Peabody Conservatory and the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden. He received his MM in conducting from the Yale School of Music studying with Shinik Hahm. At Yale he also received an MM in percussion as a student of Robert van Sice and was a member of the critically acclaimed Yale Percussion Group. Other principal conducting teachers have included Dr. Harlan Parker and Per Andersberg. In addition to the Presser Music Award, he has been recognized with two stipends from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, and Yale’s Phillip F. Nelson Award.