Maestro Nancia D’Alimonte’s love and passion for music has taken her around the world, from the Cleveland suburb where she grew up to places as far away as St. Petersburg in Russia, Moldova and Romania.
With an impressive resume both abroad and at home, D’Alimonte has already seized the reins in taking over as permanent, full-time musical director and conductor of the Loudoun Symphony Orchestra for the upcoming 2018-19 season.
While conceding that many musical concepts are easily translated among languages and cultures, D’Alimonte says music is not – quite – the universal language.
Hard work is.
“If you go there as guest conductor and you show up prepared, you will always win out – no matter what language barriers there are,” she said. “I don’t speak Russian, other than ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ but they know more English than they want to let on. In Moldova, I was able to use Italian in rehearsal. Music uses its own basic languages – you can use hand directions for slower, faster, louder, softer. It works out.”
D’Alimonte holds an undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University in her native Ohio and advanced degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Ithaca College in New York. A professional horn (French horn) player, she also studied horn at the Royal Flemish Music Conservatory in Brussels, Belgium.
She founded the NIH (National Institute of Health) Philharmonia in Maryland, just just completed it 13th season, and conducts the annual sing-along of Handel’s “Messiah” at the Kennedy Center.
In past accounts, friends and colleagues have described her as “energetic” and “charismatic,” traits she intends to use to build on the already strong reputation of LSO.
“I’m flattered and it’s nice that people see that part of me,” she said. “I think where were talking about classical … orchestral music, I absolutely love the stuff. I just can’t get enough of it,” she said. “I guess my passion for that comes through and I represent a lot of energy. I’m always prepared and very excited to have the opportunity to inspire musicians, and it’s amazing the results that come out of that.”
D’Alimonte lives in Falls Church with her husband, Giancarlo, and their standard poodle, Wolfgang. She has left her position with the Arlington Chorale to begin work in Loudoun County.
She already knows and is impressed with the talent level of dedication of LSO, having worked with the symphony on an interim basis since former conductor Mark McCoy, who died in 2016 after 18 years leading LSO.
“I knew Mark; we were colleagues,” she said. “In my time as guest conductor with them, it was clear there’s good bones here, if I may use that phrase. There is a great foundation already with this orchestra. My strength is that I have built program so I know how to take it to the next level. That’s what I plan to do here.”
With spring auditions behind and the season rapidly approaching, D’Alimonte has already settled on the music themes, selected specific compositions and begun working on the scores for the music LSO will perform – in her usual style of diligent preparation.
“All of my concerts are themed, so once I was chosen to be the next musical director-conductor, I put together a program and presented it to the artistic committee,” she said. “They were thrilled to see all of this thought and organization. We really just have to work out the dates and a few of the details.”
For more information on LSO, visit loudounsymphony.org.