Tara Simoncic is one of the most in demand women conductors in ballet. In March 2022, she made history as the first woman to conduct the American Ballet Theatre in their thrilling production of Don Quixote.
An enthusiast of dance repertoire, Ms. Simoncic has guest conducted some of the top ballet companies in the world. In 2016, she made her conducting debut with the New York City Ballet in their stunning production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. She has since become a frequent guest conductor with NYC Ballet. Since 2017, Ms. Simoncic has been a recurring guest conductor with the Atlanta Ballet, conducting such works as Giselle, August Bournoville’s La Sylphide, Helen Picket’s Camino Real featuring an original score by composer Peter Salem, Kiyon Ross’ Sum Stravinsky, a world premiere of Liam Scarlett’s Catch set to Philip Glass’ iconic Violin Concerto No. 1, and 7 for Eight, a ballet by San Francisco Ballet’s Artistic Director, Helgi Tomasson. Soon after conducting 7 for Eight, Ms. Simoncic was invited by Mr. Tomasson to conduct Don Quixote and The Nutcracker with Francisco Ballet.
This season, she will make her third guest conducting appearance with Teatro Colón’s Ballet Estable, having previously conducted Filippo Taglioni’s La Sylphide and Anna-Marie Holmes’ staging of Le Corsaire. This season, she will make guest conducting debuts with the Paul Taylor Dance Company at Lincoln Center and the Cincinnati Ballet.
Ms. Simoncic is currently serving her fifth season as Music Director of the Louisville Ballet where she has helped lead the company in an exciting direction with multiple new productions. With the Louisville Ballet, she has conducted such ballets as: Sleeping Beauty, Robert Curran’s Swan Lake, Alan Jones’ Cinderella, Balanchine’s Kammermusik no, 2, Western Symphony, Concerto Barocco, and Square Dance, as well as Val Caniparoli’s Nutcracker. In 2018, she conducted Project Faust featuring Gounod’s haunting opera and Stephen Baynes Requiem set to Faure’s Requiem in a joint production with the Louisville Opera.
From 2015-1018, Tara Simoncic served as Music Director of Ballet West where she conducted such works as: Nicolo Fonte’s premier of Le Sacre du Printempts and Carmina Burana and Helen Picket’s premier of Jeux, as well as Symphony in C, Swan Lake, Madame Butterfly, Serenade, The Nutcracker, Romeo, Juliet, and Fancy Free. She recorded Val Caniparoli’s The Lottery (commissioned by Ballet West) with the Budapest Radio Symphony Orchestra, a recording that is used by ballet companies world-wide for rehearsals and performances.
As a symphonic conductor, Ms. Simoncic has held the position of Conductor of the Flexible Orchestra, a contemporary ensemble in New York City, since 2003 where she works closely with composers to champion new works specifically written for the ensemble. She has recently guest conducted the Portland Symphony in Maine, the Bridge Musik Chamber orchestra in New York City, and Camerata Nova at The Manhattan School of Music. This season, she will guest conduct the Amarillo Symphony in Texas.
In addition to her work in the United States, Tara Simoncic also enjoys a thriving international conducting career. She has conducted performances of Don Giovanni in Trieste, Italy at the Piccolo Festival del Friuli Venezia Giulia. She has been a frequent guest conductor with the Slovenian National Opera Ballet Theatre in Maribor in productions of Swan Lake and The Barber of Seville, as well leading the SNG orchestra in performances for the International Music Festival.
From 2011-2020, Ms. Simoncic serve as the Music Director of the Greenwich Symphony’s Young People’s Concerts which brought classical music to thousands of students in the Greenwich area each year. Ms. Simoncic formerly held the position Music Director of the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra of New Jersey, Assistant Conductor of the Harrisburg Symphony and Music Director of the Harrisburg Symphony Youth Orchestras, and Music Director of the Norwalk Youth Symphony in Connecticut. She has worked extensively with orchestras in the New York area as well as the Knoxville Symphony, the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra, the Omaha Youth Symphony, the Bohuslav Symphony Orchestra of and the West Bohemian Symphony Orchestra of the Czech Republic, the Adygeya Republic National Symphony of and the Maikop Conservatory Orchestra of Russia. Ms. Simoncic has worked with such notable ballet companies such as the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, the Stamford Ballet School, Rioult Dance Theatre Company, and the Martha Graham Dance Company.
At the age of 6, Tara Simoncic began studying the trumpet and went on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree in Trumpet Performance from the New England Conservatory. She holds a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from Northwestern University and received a full scholarship to study at the Manhattan School of Music where she holds a Professional Studies Diploma in Orchestral Conducting. In 2011, Ms. Simoncic received the Bruno Walter Scholarship Award to study with Marin Alsop and Gustav Meyer at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California. She has had the privilege to study conducting with Victor Yampolsky, Zdenek Macal, George Hurst, and Iloh Yang.