Ari Pelto, newly named music director of California’s Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera, and Cosette Justo Valdés, newly named music director of Canada’s Vancouver Island Symphony.

“Canada’s Vancouver Island Symphony has chosen Cuban native Cosette Justo Valdés as its new artistic director, starting in July and succeeding Pierre Simard, who left early in 2022,” states an unsigned Thursday (4/13) article at Musical America (subscription required). “Valdés is also resident conductor of the Edmonton Symphony and has guest conducted a number of other orchestras in Canada, including the National Arts Center Orchestra, as well as in Europe and Mexico. Vancouver Island Symphony offers about seven concerts a year, in a number of different venues … Valdés is honorary director of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Oriente in Santiago, which she led for nine years, and a frequent guest at the Orquesta Nacional de Cuba in La Habana. She holds a BM in conducting from Instituto Superior de Arte (La Habana, Cuba) and earned her master’s at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst. [California’s] Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera … has a new artistic advisor and principal conductor in Finnish-American Ari Pelto. He is their first permanent artistic leader in eight years but has been a frequent guest … Next season he will conduct three out of the five symphonic performances; two operas are also planned by SPO. Pelto, also music director of the Colorado Opera, will oversee all matters artistic. He holds a BM in violin performance from Oberlin Conservatory and studied conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and at the Jacobs School of Music.” Pelto has led performances at multiple U.S. opera companies.