Zamani, Yalda International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

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Yalda Zamani was assistant conductor to the Austro-Iranian Symphony Orchestra in Tehran before graduating with distinction from the Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität in Vienna (MUK) where she studied conducting and harpsichord performance. As member of the Wiener Singverein and Wiener Singakademie, she regularly performed with orchestras such as the Wiener Philharmoniker, Wiener Symphoniker, and Tonkünstler-Orchester under conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Johannes Prinz, Gustavo Dudamel, Ton Koopman, Paavo Järvi, and Daniele Gatti, among others. After graduation, she was selected as conductor and scholarship holder of Ensemble Modern Academy in Frankfurt, which contributed to her growing interest in the performance of modern and contemporary music. 

She was a recipient of, among others, the Start-Stipendium, awarded by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture to young artists residing in Austria (2015), and was identified as a promising young conductor by the Ulysses Network – IRCAM artistic committee in France for 2017–19. In 2019, she was a semi-finalist and the orchestra prize winner at the Jeunesses Musicales International Conducting Competition in Bucharest, after which she assisted Daniel Barenboim at performances with Boulez Ensemble, consisting of musicians from Staatskapelle Berlin. She was also a finalist of Das Kritische Orchestra, organised by the Dirigentenforum and the German Music Council, and an artist-in-residence to the European network of opera academies and the Academy of Festival d’Aix-en Provence, where she assisted Esa-Pekka Salonen during rehearsals of Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny. She later served as assistant conductor at Stadttheater Klagenfurt and assisted Bas Wiegers with the production of Salvatore Sciarrino’s new opera Il canto s’attrista, per ché? 

Apart from her wide symphonic and choral repertoire, Yalda Zamani is, first and foremost, an advocate of modern and contemporary music. She has led numerous orchestras and ensembles, and taken part in world premiere performances at renowned venues and festivals, including Vienna’s Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Liverpool’s St George’s Hall, Royaumont Abbey, Wien Modern, Berlin Ultraschall, Music Biennale Zagreb, Musikprotokoll Graz, Ruhrtriennale, and Time of Music (Finland), as well as the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music.
As the founder and artistic director of the Contemporary Chamber Orchestra Elbe, Zamani has engaged in innovative projects at the intersection of music and science as a conductor, composer, and electronic music performer. She teaches contemporary music performance practice at the High School of Music and Theatre in Hamburg, where she is currently working on her doctoral dissertation on computational creativity, interdisciplinary approaches, and the application of new technologies in music performance. She is a recipient of a doctoral research fellowship Pro-Exzellenzia from the city of Hamburg and the European Social Fund, which aims at effectively and sustainably increasing the proportion of women in leadership positions.