Symphony on the Bay is pleased to announce that Claudio Vena has been appointed Conductor and Music Director, effective December 2015, after an exhaustive search of highly-qualified candidates, following on his wonderful collaboration with Symphony on the Bay at our November 2014 and March 2015 concerts last season.
Gemini award winning composer, producer & musician Claudio Vena has had an eclectic career. As a composer for Film and Television, he has scored the feature films, Silver Man and Boy Meets Girl and his arrangements were used in the Norman Jewison movie Only You staring Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. He has scored documentaries like the 2011 Gemini award winning score to TO in 24 and Johnny Lombardi, The Great Communicator. His current score for King John for the 2014 Stratford Festival will soon be filmed and released as a feature film. His other compositions for this festival include original scores for Romeo & Juliet in 2013, Peter Pan in 2010 and Hamlet in 2008. From 2001 till 2005, his music could be heard daily, as the background music to the CBC television news shows, The National, Canada Now and The Main Network News. He has written jingles for the Canadian market for Telus and Chrysler and composed a score for The Wanderers, a CBC Radio drama.
Claudio is currently the conductor/music director the Academy Chamber Orchestra at the Royal Conservatory of Toronto. He has appeared as guest conductor across Canada and held Music Director positions for the Huronia Symphony (1991 – 1995) as well as Assistant Conductor for The Hart House Orchestra (1987 – 1993) and the Toronto production of Miss Saigon (1992 – 1995). His first major recording and debut as conductor and arranger was with baritone of the Met, Louis Quillico, on the CD Ricordi d’Italia. Since then, Claudio has released and produced 3 solo CDs, La Vita E Un Circo (2005), Peter Pan Soundtrack (2010) and Romeo & Juliet (2011) as well as the recordings Quartetto Gelato, Rustic Chivalry and Aria Fresca. He cofounded the group Quartetto Gelato and during his 12 year tenure with QG, Claudio won NPR’s Debut Artist of the Year and received 2 Juno nominations. The first 3 recordings of QG were co-produced with Chad Irschick and include many arrangements and original compositions of Claudio.
As record producer, he has worked with Catherine Wilson’s Ensemble Vivant; Homage to Piazzolla, Fete Francaise and Audience Favourites, Canadian pop artist Alfie Zappacosta, Michelle B and Diana Kristina Salvatore. He has worked in studio with Blue Rodeo, Jim Cuddy, Ron Sexsmith, Ann Murray, Steven Page, Ashley MacIsaac and Patricia O’Callaghan. As a violist, violinist, accordionist, guitarist and mandolin player, Claudio has performed and regularly performs with artists such as Paul Anka, Andrea Bocelli, Jim Cuddy, Placido Domingo, Roger Hodgson, Robert Michaels, Anne Murray, Patricia O’Calighan, Page and Plant, Luciano Pavarotti, Robert Pilon, Blue Rodeo, Rod Stewart and Alfie Zappacosta. He also appeared regularly on the CTV show Canadian Idol as a member of the Band during its 6 year run.