“Childress’ elegant self-possession on the podium was reflected in interpretations that bore the stamp of a symphonic mind and consistently favoured musical honesty over sonic effect.” (Mark Valencia / Bachtrack, Nov 2020)
Strong ideas, lucid communication and intensely focused energy are among the qualities that define Stephanie Childress among today’s most compelling young musicians. Her musicianship and command of a broad scope of repertoire have already led her to establish herself on both sides of the Atlantic.
Having been inspired to start conducting due to her love of opera, the Franco-British conductor begins the 2023/24 season making her Hamburg Staatsoper debut in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and returning to Glyndebourne’s autumn season for Don Giovanni. Together they mark the latest milestone in the development of a fine Mozartian, hailed by the Guardian for the ‘lithe vitality’ of her interpretation of Le nozze di Figaro at Glyndebourne and on tour last year. In the 2023/24 season she will also make her conducting debut with Detroit Opera in Missy Mazzoli‘s Breaking the Waves.
On the orchestral podium, Childress continues to be reinvited internationally and returns to the Barcelona and North Carolina Symphonies. In North America she will have debuts with the Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony and National Arts Centre Ottawa. In Europe Childress will also make her first appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic and her Japanese debut with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.
Past 2022/23 season highlights included debuts with l’Orchestre national d’Île-de-France, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and New World Symphony Orchestra as well as returns to the North Carolina Symphony and l’Orchestre National de Montpellier. That season also marked the conclusion of her time as Assistant Conductor of the St Louis Symphony Orchestra under Stéphane Denève and Music Director of the St Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, a post she held from September 2020 and during which she enjoyed multiple subscription concerts with the orchestra.
Childress has very strong ties to the French cultural scene following her second-prize win at the 2020 inaugural conducting competition, La Maestra. Since then, she has conducted some of the top French orchestras including l’Orchestre de Paris, the Paris Mozart Orchestra and l’Orchestre de Chambre de Paris. In September 2023, following her involvement as one of the first conducting fellows of l’Académie de l’Opéra de Paris, she makes her debut at the Palais Garnier with l’Orchestre Pasdeloup for l’Opéra’s opening gala concert. In previous seasons she has also made several exciting appearances with UK orchestras, including debuts with the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Mozart Players.
A passionate advocate for amplifying the role of music within today’s world, Childress previously undertook an artistic residence at the Villa Albertine, a network for arts and ideas spanning France and the United States. She is also a member of the Franco-British Young Leaders’ Program, a scheme created by the Franco-British Council to further cooperation across both sides of the Channel. Stephanie is an active supporter of the Tri-borough Music Hub, an award-winning organisation for music education. She has taken part in several programmes with the association, including leading the junior string ensemble at an ‘Artists for Inclusivity’ event and speaking at the Youth Music Conference 2020 held at the Royal College of Music.
Selected Review Extracts
“Stephanie Childress, was both the conductor and the concert’s stand out performer. From the moment she entered the Chapel she commanded the orchestra with such poise and energy that it was truly impossible to believe she was only eighteen years of age.”
– Beethoven Ninth Symphony review November 2017. Read Full Varsity Review
“No infantilizing descriptor such as ‘prodigy’ properly captures Childress’ outsized talent. ”
– Schumann’s Symphony no. 3 review March 2023. Read Full KDHX Review