The Loudoun Symphony Orchestra has hired Maestra Nancia D'Alimonte as its third conductor in its 28-year history.
D'Alimonte comes to Loudoun with international recognition, most recently as conductor of the NIH Philharmonia, an 85-piece orchestra she founded 13 years ago. She has also been conductor for Arlington Chorale and guest conductor at the Messiah Sing-along at the Kennedy Center from 2009-2015. She holds a doctorate of musical arts in orchestral conducting from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.
“I'm beyond thrilled and over the moon about this new position,” D'Alimonte said.
The Falls Church resident said she is proud of her experience working with the best orchestras in the area. She will be leaving the Arlington Chorale but will continue her role with the NIH Philharmonia.
The Loudoun Symphony received 74 applicants over the year-long recruitment process to fill the shoes of beloved former Maestro Mark McCoy, who passed away in 2016 and served as conductor of Loudoun Symphony for 18 years.
“I knew Mark, and he was taken way too young. He established a program with really good bones,” D'Alimonte said.
She plans to build on that solid foundation.
“My gift is I build programs. It is my passion to get people really excited about classical music and when I get on the podium, magic happens. The synergy transcends the orchestra and audience - it's a god-given talent,” D'Alimonte said.
One thing she would like to pursue is to have a concert hall built in Loudoun.
“Not a large one, but with about 1,000 seats. The symphony needs a place to call home, which will help build an audience,” she said. The Loudoun Symphony Orchestra rehearses and frequently performs at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn.
D'Alimonte said she enjoys telling stories to the audience during concerts to bring the “gigantic icons” or composers down to a human level.
“I address the audience the way I would want to be addressed if I were in the audience. In today's day and age there are so many distractions so I try to keep it interesting,” she said.
D'Alimonte feels that all her concerts suitable for children, and she supports the orchestra's policy of not charging admission for students.
“I went to my first orchestra concert when I was five. Children need to experience it,” she said.
Executive Director Karen Knobloch said they are eager for Maestra D'Alimonte to start, with the first rehearsal coming after Labor Day. She noted that out of the 74 applicants, only nine were women.
“We saw a lot of talented applicants, and we were fortunate to work with so many wonderful guest conductors. We came out stronger through this process,” she said. “We anticipate Maestra D'Alimonte will bring the orchestra to the next level and she has a way of bringing the best out of every musician.”