CCM alumnus holds endowed assistant conductor chair at Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

The Cincinnati Business Courier and Cincinnati Magazine spotlight François López-Ferrer's career

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra recently announced that longtime donors Ashley and Barbara “Bobbie” Ford made a major gift to endow the orchestra’s assistant conductor chair, currently held by UC College-Conservatory of Music alumnus François López-Ferrer (BM Composition, ‘12).

As assistant conductor, López-Ferrer provides artistic support to CSO Music Director Louis Langrée and May Festival Principal Conductor Juanjo Mena throughout all rehearsals and performances. He also conducts the CSO Young Peoples Concerts, which reach over 17,000 students and teachers. Read more about the endowed chair in this Cincinnati Business Courier story.

A headshot of François López-Ferrer

François López-Ferrer. Photo/Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

The Spanish-American conductor has a formidable musical legacy; his father, the late Jesús López-Cobos, served as Music Director of the CSO from 1986 to 2001 and as Music Director Emeritus until his passing in 2018. López-Ferrer, grew up in Cincinnati, attended CCM and has many ties to the local music community. Read more about López-Ferrer in this Q-and-A feature story by Cincinnati Magazine.

López-Ferrer founded Ensemble Vita, composed of fellow students from CCM, and led concerts throughout the Cincinnati area with innovative programming spanning Baroque through 21st-century repertoire. In 2012, he and fellow CCM alumnus Isaac Selya (DMA Orchestra Conducting, ‘14) co-founded the Queen City Chamber Opera. Now known as the Queen City Opera, its mission is to perform classical operas, featuring emerging artists, the highest artistic standards and a focus on contemporary issues. It is currently led by Artistic Director Selya and Associate Music Director Jesse Leong (BM Piano, '15; MM Orchestral Conducting, '17).

A man conducting an orchestra on stage

François López-Ferrer conducting. Photo/Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

While studying composition at CCM, López-Ferrer’s teachers included Joel Hoffman, Miguel Roig-Francolí and Michael Fiday. He then studied conducting at the Lausanne Conservatory of Music and has since served as associate conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Chile and debuted with many orchestras across Europe and South America.

López-Ferrer recently garnered international attention following a critically acclaimed debut with the Verbier Festival Orchestra, filling in for Iván Fischer and conducting alongside Sir Simon Rattle and Gabor Takács-Nagy at the 2018 Verbier Festival in Switzerland. Highlights of the 20/21 season include debuts with the Spanish National Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of Galicia and the Buenos Aires Philharmonic at the esteemed Teatro Colón. He will also participate in the renowned Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

Featured image at top: Performance photo provided by Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.