Grammy-nominated conductor Sara Jobin has a passion for opera, new and American repertoire, and sacred music.
In 2004 she had the honor of making history as the first woman to conduct mainstage subscription performances at San Francisco Opera, conducting Tosca with Carol Vaness and Der fliegende Holländer with Nina Stemme, and has returned to their podium for 16 performances of five different productions since then including Philip Glass' Appomattox and the world premiere production of The Secret Garden. She is Chief Conductor of the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York, Resident Conductor of the Toledo Symphony and Associate Conductor of the Toledo Opera, and has guest conducted the opera companies in Arizona, Baltimore (where she was again the first woman), Pittsburgh, Santa Barbara, Anchorage, Tacoma, and Idaho. She has also conducted the Dayton Philharmonic, Symphony Silicon Valley, Orchestra of St. Luke's, and the Bochumer Philharmoniker. Internationally, she has also led American operas in Szeged and Avignon and brought one in workshop form to Shanghai. Her first full-length recording, the comedy Volpone by John Musto, was nominated for a 2010 Grammy for Best Opera Recording. Her discography also includes a Brubeck premiere with beloved mezzo Frederica von Stade.
As a freelancer Ms. Jobin particularly seeks out projects that increase cross cultural or interfaith understanding. Recently she led a performance of the Bach B minor Mass at Dachau in memory of Noorunisa Inayat Khan, a Sufi Muslim who gave her life as a British spy in WWII. She premiered Mohican composer Brent Michael David’s The Purchase of Manhattan, told from the Native American perspective, at the Marble Collegiate Church in New York, and portions of Shelia Silver’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, a work still in progress, at the Opera America New Works Forum.
Named a Leonard Bernstein Music Scholar by Harvard College, Jobin tends to defy traditional categories. She earned her black belt in judo on the same day as conducting Beethoven's Fifth for the first time. She sang for many years in the Glide Ensemble, a gospel choir featured in the movie The Pursuit of Happiness with Will Smith; prefers to ride a bicycle for transportation year round; and is looking for more opportunities to conduct sacred music. Tired of operas where the women die victimized by society, Ms. Jobin founded the Different Voice Opera Project in collaboration with Carol Gilligan.
Jobin comes from a multi-colored, multi-faith family with a strong tradition of social justice activism. She pledges her talent to increase the peace.