What galvanized the entire production was the high level of the music making. Conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya, who is also music director of Juventas New Music Ensemble and Harvard’s popular Lowell House Opera, is a skillful and incisive musician, and she got an exciting, accomplished performance from her small orchestra. " -Lloyd Schwartz, Pulizer Prize winner for Criticism (New York Arts)
Lidiya Yankovskaya's experience includes work with opera companies, symphonic orchestras, chamber ensembles, and choruses. In particular, Lidiya has become known for her interpretations of new and rarely-performed works, as well as her work with Russian-language opera. Currently, Lidiya serves as Music Director of Juventas New Music Ensemble (a professional contemporary music ensemble in residency at The Boston Conservatory), Music Director at Harvard University's Lowell House Opera (the longest continuously-operating opera company in New England), Music Director/Conductor with Boston's Commonwealth Lyric Theater, and Music Director of Center for Contemporary Opera’s Development Series in New York City. Lidiya is also an affiliate scholar with the Harvard Davis Center. In addition, she is an active pianist and coach. Lidiya regularly performs as a collaborative pianist and has served the Music Director/Pianist for Opera Boston's education tours and the cover pianist for Opera Boston's mainstage productions. She has also served as a Russian language coach for Opera Boston, Lowell House Opera, and currently, for Boston Symphony Orchestra's Tanglewood Festival Chorus.
This season’s productions include Anton Rubinshteyn's The Demon with Commonwealth Lyric Theater, Delibes' Lakmé with Lowell House Opera, and the world premiere of the ballet HackPolitik by Peter van Zandt Lane (with People Movers Dance). Recent projects include Rachmaninoff's Aleko with Commonwealth Lyric Theater (winner of National Opera Association Award for Best Production in the Professional Category), Rimsky-Korsakov’s Snegurochka with Lowell House Opera (the first fully-staged, Russian-language production of the opera in the U.S. and the work's New England premiere), Janacek’s Cunning Little Vixen with Boston Opera Collaborative, and the world premierer of Isaac Schankler’s Light and Power with Juventas (winner of The National Opera Association Award and The American Prize for best professional production). Lidiya has also recently served as the Assistant Conductor for Gotham Chamber Opera's BadenBaden performance and as Assistant Conductor/Chorus Master for productions of Hindemith's Cardillac and Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict with Opera Boston.
A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Lidiya began her studies on piano at the Russian Specialized Music Schools and as a singer in the St. Petersburg Children's Choir at age five. Soon thereafter, she also began playing the violin. Lidiya first performed as a conductor at age seventeen, when she lead her high school orchestra in the first movement of Dvořak's Symphony no. 7. Lidiya's conducting teachers and mentors have included Kenneth Kiesler, Ann Howard Jones, David Hoose, Joshua Jacobson, Eduardo Navega, and Christine Howlett. She has also recently participated in workshops and masterclasses with Gustav Meier, JoAnn Falletta, Mark Gibson, Arthur Fagen, Erin Freeman, Tamara Brooks, and Simon Carrington. As a singer with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus (chorus of the Boston Symphony), Lidiya has also had the opportunity to perform under the batons of James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, Rafael Frübeck de Bergos, Charles Dutoit, Bernard Haitink, and others.
Lidiya received her B.A. in Music and Philosophy, Phi Beta Kappa with Departmental Honors, focusing on piano, voice and conducting from Vassar College. While at Vassar, Lidiya was the Music Director of the Mahagonny Ensemble, an instrumental and choral ensemble (about 55 instrumentalists and 24 singers) that focuses on repertoire from the 20th and 21st centuries. Upon graduation from Vassar, Lidiya received the Francis Walker Prize as the top pianist in her graduating class. In May 2010, Lidiya received an MM in Conducting, Pi Kappa Lambda, on a full tuition Dean's Scholarship, from Boston University. While at Boston University, Lidiya also studied voice with Sharon Daniels, Director of the Boston University Opera Institute. In addition, she continues her studies on collaborative piano with Shiela Kibbe, chair of BU's Collaborative Piano Department.