Barbara Day Turner Bio

barbara day turner

Conductor Barbara Day Turner is founder and music director of the San José Chamber Orchestra, now in its 19th season. An ardent advocate for new music, Maestra Day Turner has premiered more than 80 new works just with the SJCO.

Her resume also includes almost 100 operas and musical theater pieces. Most recently she has conducted the Redwood Symphony, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Aguascalientes, Così fan tutte for West Bay Opera, John Adams’ Nixon In China for Portland Opera, The King and I for American Musical Theatre of San José and The Marriage of Figaro and Porgy and Bess for Utah Festival Opera, where she also serves as Music Administrator. Her background also includes many years as conductor and artistic administrator with Opera San José where she conducted the world premieres of Henry Mollicone’s Hotel Eden, Alva Henderson’s West of Washington Square, Craig Bohmler and Daniel Helfgot’s The Tale of the Nutcracker and George Roumanis’ Phaedra, as well as repertoire pieces by Handel, Cavalli, Mozart, Rossini, Puccini, Bizet, Verdi, Britten, Stravinsky, and many others.

Miss Day Turner holds a masters degree in harpsichord performance from San José State University, with advanced studies with the legendary Fernando Valenti defining an alter-ego musical life as a harpsichordist.

Some of the more unusual projects that Maestra Day Turner has served as musical director for include the premiere of Randall Wong’s Victorian Toy Theater Puppet Opera Household Opera at the Z Space in San Francisco, a performance of Ezra Pound’s Le Testament, live orchestral accompaniment for an IMAX Laser show with score from science fiction shows, live music for the play Amadeus and a multimedia orchestral work by Libby Larsen. Upcoming projects include productions of Manon Lescaut and Gypsy with Utah Festival Opera.