Naomi Woo is a prominent young Canadian conductor, recognized by CBC (30 Under 30) and Flare Magazine (How I Made It) as a rising star on the Canadian classical music scene, and notable for her work as a socially-engaged artist and educator. As Assistant Conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Naomi programmes and conducts educational concerts and is a leader in community engagement. Naomi is also the first Music Director of Sistema Winnipeg, a music programme for social change in the city’s North End. A commitment to using music to imaginatively transform the world runs through all of her work, including her recently-completed PhD thesis, The Practicality of the Impossible.
Her passion for new work and artistic creation has also led to trainings and residencies at the Darmstädter Ferienkurse, the International Ensemble Modern Academy at Klangspuren Schwaz, Nida Art Colony (Vilnius Academy of the Arts), the Cortona Sessions for New Music, and more. As a pianist, she has been a prizewinner at the Eckhardt-Grammatté Competition for Canadian and Contemporary Music and winner of the Hélène Roberge Prize for Canadian Music. She is an artist with Tangram, an ensemble devoted to celebrating the vitality of Chinese cultures, and creating new music by transnational Chinese creators.
In addition to her current position, she has conducted ensembles including the International Ensemble Modern Academy Orchestra, Cambridge New Music Ensemble, and the Yale Symphony Orchestra. As an assistant, she has worked with conductors including Jac Van Steen, Sir Mark Elder, Matias Bamert, Jessica Cottis, and Jane Glover.
Naomi holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. She has also studied mathematics, philosophy, and music at Yale College, the Yale School of Music, and Université de Montréal. Her formative training before university took place at the Vancouver Academy of Music. She acknowledges generous support over the years from the Manitoba Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Help Musicians UK, and the BC Arts Council.