A conductor with expansive musical interests, Julian Pellicano is a formidable interpreter of the symphonic repertoire as well as a versatile conductor in a diverse blend of genres. The Winnipeg Free Press says of Pellicano, “His versatility is truly astonishing…” and “…superbly led by WSO resident maestro Julian Pellicano, [the orchestra] took their pride of place and became key players – ostensibly another character – during the 142-minute production…” Julian Pellicano is currently the Resident Conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra where he conducts on all of the orchestra’s various concert series. In addition to the symphony repertoire, Pellicano has gained extensive experience conducting films live with orchestra, and conducts a wide variety of Pops, Kids, Special and other community outreach concerts with the WSO in addition to conducting, hosting and helping to develop the orchestra’s robust and innovative education concerts that reach over 15,000 Winnipeg students annually.
In addition to his position with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Julian keeps a busy schedule of international concerts and projects. He has led concerts with the Orquestra de Valencia (Spain), the Louisiana Philharmonic, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, New Britain Symphony, Orquestra Sinfonica de Porto Alegre (Brazil), the Eastern Connecticut Symphony, Tuscaloosa Symphony, Milwaukee’s Present Music, The Dinosaur Annex Ensemble, Groundswell Contemporary Music, The Brandon Chamber Players, and appeared at the first edition of the Ciclo de Música Contemporánea de Oviedo (Spain). Equally at home in ballet, opera and theater, Pellicano recently made his debut with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in two productions and has also led performances with the Huntsville Ballet and Eastern Connecticut Ballet. Fully staged opera productions include The Marriage of Figaro, Rinaldo, The Medium, La Cenerentola, The Pirates of Penzance, a staged version of Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel, Nancy Van de Vate’s Where the Cross is Made and In the Shadow of the Glen, as well as collaborations in musical theater productions of South Pacific and A Chorus Line with Winnipeg’s Rainbow Stage. Pellicano appeared at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas conducting the first performances of Martin Bresnick’s critically acclaimed opera My Friend's Story and has collaborated with Soprano/Director Susan Narucki and the Kallisti Ensemble conduting Pascal Dusapin's opera To Be Sung.
Julian Pellicano has built his career by following an unconventional path. The creation, with Dr. Paul Lehrman, of a new performance edition of George Antheil's Ballet Mecanique first brought Pellicano to the public’s attention. Conductor of the Norfolk Contemporary Ensemble since 2008, Pellicano is recognized for his transparent interpretations of contemporary music. His many premieres include the first American performance of Hans Werner Henze’s Drei Geistliche Konzerte with trumpeter Joel Brennan. In 2010, he released a recording of Ingram Marshall’s Peaceable Kingdom with the Yale Philharmonia on New World Records and recently recorded music by Australian composer Nicole Murphy for Elm City Records. Pellicano has toured Turkey conducting new pieces that blend both western and Turkish classical instruments, and regularly collaborates with a wide spectrum of world-class soloists from legendary pianist Ann Schein to electric guitarist Andy Summers (The Police). Pellicano was a recipient of the 2008 Presser Music Award which allowed him to travel to observe world-renowned conductors Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim, David Robertson, Bernard Haitink, John Adams and Michael Tilson Thomas in rehearsal with the great orchestras of the world. He studied conducting as a fellow at the Yale School of Music where he was assistant conductor of the Yale Philharmonia Orchestra, working with Music Director Shinik Hahm as well as assisting guest conductors including Sir Neville Marriner, Helmuth Rilling, Reinbert De Leeuw and Peter Oundjian. Other principal conducting teachers have included Dr. Harlan Parker and Per Andersberg and he has conducted in masterclasses with Kurt Masur, Peter Eötvös, Zsolt Nagy, Martyn Brabbins, Carl St. Clair, L’Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
From 2009 to 2013 he served as music director of the Longy School of Music Conservatory Orchestra where he developed the orchestra’s repertoire, engaged world-class soloists, and establishing a rigorous and distinctive new orchestral program. In 2013, he joined the conducting faculty of the University of Manitoba where he serves as Music Director of the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra. As a young musician he played drums, percussion, Rhodes piano, and accordion in rock, blues and jazz groups. An autodidact, he was accepted to the Peabody Conservatory as a percussionist without typical classical training, and continued his percussion studies at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden and at the Yale School of Music where he was a student of Robert van Sice and was a member of the critically acclaimed Yale Percussion Group. Pellicano also holds a degree in philosophy from The Johns Hopkins University. In addition to the Presser Music Award, he has been recognized with two stipends from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, and Yale’s Phillip F. Nelson Award