Artist in Residence in Choral Conducting
Valérie Sainte-Agathe, Artistic Director, has prepared and conducted the San Francisco Girls Chorus since 2013, including performances with renowned ensembles such as the Philip Glass Ensemble, The Knights, Kronos Quartet, New Century Chamber Orchestra, Voices of Music, TENET Vocal Artists, and the San Francisco Symphony.
Through high profile musical collaborations, Ms. Sainte-Agathe continues to welcome acclaimed guest artists and ensembles from across the United States and beyond to work alongside the choristers of SFGC. She most recently joined forces with The King’s Singers and Roomful of Teeth to further SFGC’s creative energy during the COVID-19 pandemic with several unique video and audio projects to be released in spring 2021.
Through transformative choral music training, education, and performance, Ms. Sainte-Agathe empowers young women and champions the music of today throughout the choral world. Recent commissions by Theresa Wong, Susie Ibarra, Cava Menzies, and Matthew Welch will continue to build upon SFGC’s legacy of creating and presenting new repertoire for treble chorus.
During the 2019-2020 season, Ms. Sainte-Agathe has been invited by Kronos Quartet to be Artist in residence for their Festival 2019, she conducted the Philip Glass Ensemble and the Tiffin Chorus in Music with Changing Parts at the Barbican Center and in collaboration with Berkeley Ballet Theater, created and conducted Rightfully Ours, a fully-staged choral music and dance production that brought together young singers and dancers for an entire program of new music and choreographies. Featured works included world premiere commissions by Angélica Negrón and Aviya Kopelman.
In February 2018, Ms. Sainte-Agathe made her Carnegie Hall debut with the Philip Glass Ensemble, conducting with Michael Riesman in Glass’s Music with Changing Parts. She also conducted The Photographer by Philip Glass in October 2017. In June 2016, she conducted SFGC alongside The Knights and Brooklyn Youth Chorus for the New York Philharmonic Biennial Festival at Lincoln Center. She also collaborated with The Knights for the SHIFT Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Her first recording as SFGC’s Music Director, Final Answer, was released on Orange Mountain Music in February 2018, and her second recording, My Outstretched Hand, featured composer Aaron Jay Kernis, The Knights, and Trinity Youth Chorus and was released in July 2019. Between 2014 and 2016, she prepared choruses for Lisa Bielawa’s made-for-TV opera, Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser.
Ms. Sainte-Agathe served as Music Director for the Young Singers program of the Montpellier National Symphony and Opera in France from 1998-2011. In this capacity, she trained young singers for opera and symphony concerts and productions. She participated in eight recordings with the Montpellier National Orchestra and The Radio France Festival. Ms. Sainte-Agathe studied at the Montpellier Conservatory in piano performance. She received her Bachelor’s degree in conducting and a Master in Management from Université Paul Valery in Montpellier.
BM, MA, Université Paul Valery