About Sebastian Zinca
This season Sebastian Zinca leads 11 concerts with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia as part of his new role there as Assistant Conductor, in which he works closely with Chief Conductor Baldur Brönnimann. Following his participation in the Lucerne Festival Academy in the Summer of 2023, he was re-invited to lead a workshop and concert with the Academy Orchestra in the summers of 2024 and 2025. He received a silver medal at the Third International Antal Doráti Conducting Competition in Budapest, and the Joan W. Harris Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival. As assistant conductor he has worked with Mark Wigglesworth at the Teatro Real in Madrid on the Barrie Kosky Production of Shostakovich’s The Nose, and with Nicholas Collon and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is a graduate of the Sibelius Academy conducting class in Finland.
Particularly passionate about opera, Zinca has led productions of Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Mascagni’s L’Amico Fritz, Frid's Diary of Anne Frank, and Handel’s Alcina, the latter of which was performed on period instruments. In 2022 he was one of four young conductors from around the world chosen to conduct an act of La Bohème in concert with the Orquesta Filarmònica de Gran Canaria, and at the European Music Academy Teplice, was awarded the President's Prize for his work on Così fan tutte.
He has additionally conducted the Orchestra of the Komische Oper, Kammerakademie Potsdam, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Tapiola Sinfonietta, PKF - Prague Philharmonia, Staatstheater Cottbus, Lahti Symphony, Magdeburgische Philharmonie, Oulu Symphony Orchestra, and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra.
Zinca enjoys finding creative ways of presenting classical music to audiences. While living in New York City, he assembled an orchestra of students and alumni of Juilliard and Yale. The orchestra’s final concert featured several world premieres, a collaboration with young jazz virtuoso Vuyo Sotashe, a Mendelssohn Symphony, and culminated in a large-scale rendition of the civil-rights-era song We Shall Overcome, arranged by Zinca for orchestra, singer, spoken word poet, and full audience choir. In addition, while living in Helsinki, Zinca hosted a highly popular monthly open-mic event that regularly included classic music performances among performances of countless other genres; and while at the Lucerne Festival he put together a pop-up style outdoor performance of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 with students of the Festival Academy.
Zinca completed his conducting studies at the Sibelius Academy as a student of Sakari Oramo, as well an advanced studies course at the Universität der Künste Berlin as a student of Harry Curtis. At the Sibelius Academy he received additional instruction from Jorma Panula, Johannes Schlaefli, Nicholás Pasquet, Susanna Mälkki, Hannu Lintu, and Péter Eötvös.
Zinca is a native of Miami, Florida born to Romanian and Peruvian parents. Before conducting, he studied double bass at the Juilliard School. As an orchestral musician he has performed with several of the world’s leading maestros at Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Moscow Conservatory, and Mariinsky Theatre. In 2017 he performed a program of Holocaust memorial music at Auschwitz and has played over 40 concerts in hospitals, nursing homes, and homeless shelters.