In Tuesday’s (11/23) Mercury News (San Jose, California), Richard Scheinin writes, “Joana Carneiro whisks into a bustling Berkeley cafe at lunch hour. She is 34 and instantly likable—direct, warm and, above all, exuberant, greeting a stranger, European-style, with kisses on both cheeks. In her native Lisbon, she often shows up in the tabloids and in women’s magazines, for she is the successful daughter of a member of Parliament and already is a veteran conductor, even at her young age, of Portuguese orchestras. But here in Berkeley, she can operate with some anonymity, even though a buzz—a national buzz, verging on something greater—is growing around her leadership of the Berkeley Symphony, where she is in her second season as conductor and music director. … Thursday night at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, Carneiro will lead the world premiere of ‘Private Alleles’ by 36-year-old Mexican composer Enrico Chapela. Commissioned by the Berkeley Symphony—the first commission of Carneiro’s tenure—it will be followed by Peter Lieberson’s ‘Neruda Songs,’ a lush cycle of love poems, to be sung by Rachel Calloway, an amber-voiced mezzo-soprano and one of Carneiro’s resident artists.”

Posted November 23, 2010