Joana Carneiro is since January 2014 the Principal Music Director of the Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa (Portuguese Symphony Orchestra). In 2009, following Kent Nagano’s leadership, Joana Carneiro was appointed Berkeley Symphony Music Director, thus becoming the third Orchestra’s Music Director in its 40 years of activity.
Joana Carneiro is the Gulbenkian Orchestra Guest Music Director as well as the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s Workshop for Orchestra (Youth Orchestra) Artistic Director. Joana Carneiro has conducted concerts with the Toronto, Gothenburg, Gävle, Malmö, Sydney and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras and with the Spanish National Orchestra, Radio France, Florida Orchestra and with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. She has also conducted Peter Sellars’ production of Stravinky’s Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms at the Sydney Festival which was distinguished with the 2010 Helpmann Award for the best symphony concert, John Adam’s A Flowering Tree at the Chicago Opera Theatre and with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, in Lisbon, and at the Cité de la Musique, in Paris. Joana Carneiro was Esa-Pekka Salonen’s assistant at the Paris Ópera of the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Adriana Mater. She was Los Angeles Philharmonic Assistant Music Director where she worked with Esa-Pekka Salonen, her mentor, and conducted concerts at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and at the Hollywood Bowl. She was Assistant Conductor with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Assistant Music Director and Campus Philarmonia Orchestra Music Director, Michigan.
Joana Carneiro was born in Lisbon and studied Orchestral Conducting at Academia Nacional Superior de Orquestra (National Superior Academy of Orchestra), in Lisbon. She concluded her Orchestral Conducting Master Degree at the University of Northwestern and continued her Doctorate studies at the University of Michigan. She studied with Kenneth Kiesler (Michigan), Kurt Masur (London), Michael Tilson Thomas (Miami), Victor Yampolsky (Chicago), Mallory Thompson (Chicago) and Jean-Marc Burfin (Lisbon). Since Joana Carneiro became the Musical Director of the Berkeley Symphony, the orchestra has received two programme awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
Joana Carneiro received the 2010 Helen M. Thompson Award from the League of American Symphony Orchestras aimed at acknowledging musical directors of outstanding potential.
In July 2010, she received the D. Antónia Adelaide Ferreira Award and, in November 2010, the Amália Award for Classical Music. In March 2004, Joana Carneiro was awarded the Commendation of the Order of the Infante Dom Henrique by Jorge Sampaio, the President of the Portuguese Republic.