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Francisco Noya

Meet Guest Conductor Francisco Noya

Cape Symphony is thrilled to introduce Francisco Noya, guest conductor for our “Better Together” concert on April 6 and 7, 2024. Mr. Noya is Music Director of the Boston Civic Symphony, a member of the conducting faculty at Berklee College of Music, and a resident of Nantucket, where his wife is Superintendent of Schools. He’s a person who loves what he does, and it shows.

Originally from Venezuela, Noya had his first conducting experience with the youth orchestra in Valencia: “I was studying piano and cello… our conductor had to be away and asked me to take the rehearsal. My colleagues must have thought I knew what I was doing, because a few months after that, I got the position.” He came to the United States to further his education, earning degrees in Composition and Conducting from Boston University.

Francisco embraces the challenges of his work with great joy. “Conducting is a hard job,” he says. “It’s hard intellectually, emotionally, and also physically, transforming movement into music.” Is he ever surprised by the emotions a piece of music evokes? “Every time,” he says. “Every piece surprises me. The music is not just the abstract sounds in your head when you look at the score, it’s the people playing it… we are not conducting violins, oboes, and trumpets, we are conducting people. We bring our own life stories into it – intentionally or not, they’re there. It’s a human enterprise. For me, that’s a very important thing. I never forget it.”

Over the course of a successful career, his versatility and expertise in conducting symphonic and operatic works have established Francisco Noya as a prominent figure in the Boston and New England music communities. He has been Resident Conductor of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director of the New Philharmonia Orchestra and Longwood Symphony Orchestra, conductor of the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra, and appeared as a guest conductor with an impressive list of orchestras across Europe and the Americas.

What does this hardworking conductor do to recharge? Francisco says “I have a great curiosity about all kinds of things. I love science especially. I was an electrical engineering student before I chose to commit to music, which I have never regretted, but I have kept an immense curiosity for science.” He’s also an athlete. Living on Nantucket, that means tennis, and swimming in the ocean often – but no, not year-round. “It gets too cold by about November,” he says. “I don’t like punishment!”

Francisco is very excited about conducting the Cape Symphony Orchestra and twin sister piano duo Christina and Michelle Naughton in our “Better Together” program. Bartók’s “Concerto for Orchestra” was a particular draw. “It’s an amazing piece, very emotionally direct,” he says. “Bartok had a very special musical language, his own way of shaping music – contemporary, but accessible, so classical music audiences with more conservative tastes still find it very enjoyable.”

Poulenc’s “Concerto for Two Pianos,” he says, is “a phenomenal showpiece… charming and bright. You will detect Mozart’s influence in repeated turns of phrase.” As piano is his own primary instrument, Francisco delights in having two of them on stage. “Two pianos make a wonderful noise. It’s loud! I love it, I love it. Generally, the lids are removed, so the sound is unhampered. The sound of the orchestra vibrates the piano strings and reverberates. They are absolutely ‘Better Together.’”

Classical music fans, especially piano enthusiasts, will not want to miss this outstanding performance, and this engaging, enthusiastic, joyful conductor.

See Francisco Noya in action with your Cape Symphony Orchestra and Christina and Michelle Naughton at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center. Purchase “Better Together” tickets here.

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