DSO Conductor Filippo Ciabatti Receives National Award

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“We have always known Filippo to be one of a kind,” says the Hop’s Mary Lou Aleskie.

Filippo Ciabatti directing the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra
Filippo Ciabatti directs the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra during a Hopkins Center online performance in February. (Photo by Photo by Robert Gill)

Filippo Ciabatti, music director of the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra, has received the first place award from the 2021 American Prize in Conducting competition, in the college orchestra division.

The award is bestowed annually by The American Prize, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting excellence in classical music performance and conducting.

“The prize grew from the belief that a great deal of excellent music being made in this country goes unrecognized and unheralded, not only in our major cities, but all across the country ... in schools and churches, in colleges and universities, and by community and professional musicians,” according to the website.

“We have always known Filippo to be one of a kind,” says Mary Lou Aleskie, the Howard L. Gilman ’44 director of the Hopkins Center for the Arts. “He is an incredibly gifted musician with extraordinary talents as a pianist, choral conductor, opera conductor, and, of course, leader of our orchestra. His ability to shift between these worlds and bring our students along with him, giving them the confidence and skill to reach beyond expectations, is truly remarkable.”

“This prize is a testament to the great work that the Hop and the Department of Music have done and are doing to support our students, the arts at Dartmouth, and the orchestra program,” says Ciabatti. “We all work together as a team.”

Ciabatti says he’s especially proud of the orchestra’s performers, most of whom are not music majors. “Yet they are able to achieve incredible musical results,” he says. “Dartmouth students are extraordinary. It is a privilege making music with them.”

The DSO is preparing for what Ciabatti says will be an ambitious program.

“In November, David Kim, concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the top ten orchestras in the world, is going to join us as a soloist in Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1. He’s one of the most accomplished violin players in the U.S., and this will be an incredible opportunity for students to play with him, and our audience to hear them.”

The Nov. 13 performance at 7:30 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium will also include George Walker’s Lyric for Strings and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, known as the Eroica.

“We are extremely excited and grateful to be able to perform live music again,” says Ciabatti.

Charlotte Albright