“Her focus and poise resulted in a performance of lithe vitality, detailed and assured.”Glydnebourne, The Guardian, October 2022
Assistant Conductor: St Louis Symphony Orchestra (through the 2021/22 season)
Stephanie Childress is making her mark as a conductor of remarkable skill and has been likened to “other notable young conductors of the past such as Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Sir Simon Rattle” (Varsity). Her musicianship and command of a broad scope of repertoire has led to engagements with symphony orchestras and opera houses across the international stage.
Autumn of the 2022/23 season began with her Glyndebourne Festival debut conducting The Marriage of Figaro at home in Lewes and on tour. Alongside the opera production, Childress also conducted the Glydnebourne Festival orchestra and chorus for performances of Mozart’s Requiem.
Childress also has strong connections to the Opera de Paris and in Spring 2023 she joins Carlo Rizzi as assistant conductor for Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet. She has been an assistant conductor at the English National Opera and during the summer of 2021 she joined the music staff at Glyndebourne Festival to assist on Il Turco in Italia and conduct the Glyndebourne Chorus for Luisa Miller. Previously, she conducted Jeremy Sams’ The Enchanted Island with the British Youth Opera, Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at St John’s College (Cambridge), Lennox Berkeley’s A Dinner Engagement for the Cambridge University Opera Society, and the world premiere of Anna Semple’s The Next Station is Green Park at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Returning to St Louis to continue her position as Assistant Conductor of the St Louis Symphony Orchestra, a role she has held since 2020, Childress will conduct New Years Eve concerts, subscription weeks and tour with the orchestra across Europe. In addition, she will continue her duties as Music Director of the St Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra.
The 2022/23 season also includes debuts with Orchestre National de’ille de France, Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin and New World Symphony Orchestra as well as returns to North Carolina Symphony and Montpellier following the success of debuts last season.
Childress was awarded the 2nd prize of the inaugural conducting competition, La Maestra in 2020 and since then has conducted some of the top orchestras in France including Orchestre de Paris, Paris Mozart Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and Opera et Orchestre National de Montpellier. In previous seasons she has also made several exciting appearances with UK orchestras, including conducting debuts with the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Mozart Players.
Childress has attended masterclasses with esteemed conductors such as Sir Mark Elder, Paavo Järvi, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Sian Edwards, Nicolas Pasquet and Johannes Schlaefli and most recently took part in the Conducting Académie of the Aix-en-Provence Festival.
A passionate advocate of amplifying the role of music within today’s world, Childress has previously undertaken artistic residence at the Villa Albertine, a network for arts and ideas spanning France and the United States. As part of her residence, she assisted Esa-Pekka Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra as well as observing rehearsals with the Atlanta, LA and Chicago Symphony Orchestras. As of 2022, she is also a Young Leader 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 a number of 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. She has also appeared on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune.
HarrisonParrott represents Stephanie Childress for worldwide general management.
“Her focus and poise resulted in a performance of lithe vitality, detailed and assured.”
“Childress, conducting from memory, kept her tempos perky and her directions vivid, powerful and energetic. Longer-than-usual pauses between movements allowed the mood of one to make way for the next.”
(Respighi Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No.3) “With moods ranging from romantic yearning to tragic nobility, it calls for players with a wide expressive range and a conductor who is sensitive to both the work’s technical demands and its emotional depth. Ms. Childress and the SLSO strings were all of that in abundance”
“Childress has an elastic quality about her, cutting a strong yet pliable figure on the podium… She seemed at home in front of the SLSO – in command, into the music, and having some genuine fun with the musicians and audience alike.”
“Her podium style was elegant and precise, neither flamboyant nor overly reserved”
“The most recent concert presented a mostly Finnish programme, originally intended for Susanna Malkki, but conducted in the event, and with full engagement, by Stephanie Childress. The novelties here were headed by Kaija Saariaho’s Lumiere et Pesanteur, a brief glimpse into a hypersensitive sound-world, where lights flicker in the finest of mists, the subtlety of the music not even compromised by substantial parts for trumpet and other brass.”
“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.”
‘She played the lazy intro with perfect pitch and then went on with soft, sweet and serene panache. There was a good balance between orchestra and soloist as we were taken on a journey flying high as a lark in the summer sky. There was playful accompaniment from the woodwind section and a simply sumptuous solo performance from Childress. She displayed delightful bow work with the gentlest of nuances, both transfixing and transcendent.‘
“Clarity, and in particular unity, also flows from the orchestra under the baton of Stephanie Childress, a seriously exciting (and unnervingly young) talent who conjures a lithe, supple and above all united sound from her instrumentalists, full of atmosphere, drama and poise. Childress’ command of her orchestra brings verve, bite and gravity to the score’s darker moments, while exulting merrily in its racier passages, and the sheer musicality of this production is another of its strengths.”
“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. In a video played before the concert, St John’s’ Director of Music commented on some of the notable young conductors of the past, such as Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Sir Simon Rattle. Perhaps such heights too lie in wait for Childress, who successfully tackled what she described in her Twitter feed as “the gargantuan mass of music” that is Beethoven’s 9th symphony.”