Naomi Woo is a Canadian conductor, pianist, and musicologist. She recently held the position of Conducting Scholar for the Cambridge University Orchestra in 2017-2018, assisting conductors Jac Van Steen and Sir Mark Elder, and conducting the orchestra in a week-long tour to Tuscany. She has also conducted ensembles including the Clare College Music Society, the Berkeley College Orchestra, and the Yale Symphony Orchestra, and has been an invited conductor for the Cambridge Brahms Festival and the Cambridge Female Composers Festival.
Especially interested in contemporary music, Naomi was recently invited to conduct the Cambridge New Music Ensemble at Stapleford Granary as part of the Living Notes series. In March 2018, she conducted the UK Premiere of Kaija Saariaho's Lumière et Pesanteur with the Cambridge University Sinfonia, and she has commissioned and conducted the world premiere of orchestral works by Emily Cooley, Stephen Feigenbaum, and Ellis Ludwig-Leone, and staged vocal works by Susie Self (Spirit Wagon, 2014) and David Leigh (The Binding of Isaac, 2010).
As an opera conductor, she has conducted productions of Holst's Savitri (ADC Theatre), Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Actéon (Clare College Music Society), Thomas Pasatieri's Signor Deluso (Opera Theatre of Yale College), and Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte (Opera Theatre of Yale College). She was recently one of only 12 conductors accepted onto a training course at the National Opera Studio, hosted by the Royal Philharmonic Society and the Royal Opera House.
Outside of conducting, she has an active career as a pianist, spanning opera coaching, collaborative piano, and solo performance. She recently performed Carnival of the Animals alongside Tom Poster (October 2017) with the Cambridge University Orchestra, and has also performed concerts with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Yale Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Northwest (Seattle). Her performance of Prokofiev’s First Piano Sonata at Carnegie Hall in 2011 was praised as an “elegant performance” in the New York Times.
She has collaboratively created musical performance work with Catherine Kontz and Sasha Amaya (A Certain Sense of Order) and Sophie Seita (Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Reveille Dans la Brûme) and participated in artistic residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada and Nida Arts Colony in Lithuania. With Sasha Amaya, she runs tick tock, a performance company dedicated to sonic and choreographic performance. Their work has shown at Somerset House (London), AceArtInc. (Winnipeg), Das Kapital (Berlin), The Round Church (Cambridge), Kunsthalle Darmstadt, among other venues.
Naomi holds degrees in mathematics and philosophy from Yale College, in piano performance from the Yale School of Music and Université de Montréal, and is completing a PhD in musicology at Cambridge University.