Cosette Justos Valdés

Artistic Director and Conductor since 2018

Cosette is the Resident Conductor of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. She has been with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra since the 2018-2019 season, when she started as the Assistant Conductor and Community Ambassador. Born and raised in Cuba, as a daughter of amateur musicians, she has loved music all her life, and she began learning piano and music theory from age 8. At 18 she saw a symphony orchestra for the first time and immediately knew she wanted to be a conductor. She took up conducting in 2002 at the National Institute of the Arts of Cuba, in Havana, and after graduating in 2009 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting, she was appointed Music & Artistic Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Oriente (OSO) (Santiago, Cuba), where she developed several programs for improving the technical and musical level of the orchestra, and founded a Kid’s Orchestra and a Youth Orchestra, both tutored by the musicians of the professional orchestra. In 2012, Cosette entered the Mannheim Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst (State University for Music & Performing Arts) in Germany, to learn more about conducting classical repertoire from the European perspective, and she earned her master's degree in 2018. She has conducted many orchestral, choral, and chamber ensembles in Europe, while remaining Music & Artistic Director of the OSO until 2017, returning often to conduct it. In the fall of 2023, Cosette became the Artistic Director of Vancouver Island Symphony, and she maintains an active schedule of guest conducting with other professional Canadian orchestras.