Claudio Vena, guest conductor

Holiday Celebration

December 10, 2023


Claudio Vena is a Gemini award-winning composer, conductor, producer, and musician. He has composed for film, television, and stage, penning scores for The Stratford Festival, Canadian Stage and currently at The Shaw Festival. In 2011, his score to the documentary TO in 24 won him a Gemini award for best original music. He has a feature film called Road to the Lemon Grove, available through most streaming services.

Claudio has been Music Director and Conductor with the Academy Chamber Orchestra at the Royal Conservatory of Toronto, the Burlington Symphony, the Huronia Symphony, the Hart House Orchestra at the University of Toronto, and the original Toronto production of Miss Saigon. His guest conducting appearances include the Kamloops Symphony, Symphony Hamilton, Orchestra Toronto, Mississauga Symphony and Windsor Symphony. His first major recording and debut as conductor and arranger was with the baritone of the Met, Louis Quillico, on the CD Ricordi d’Italia. Since then, Claudio has released and produced 4 solo CDs. He co-founded the group Quartetto Gelato, which released 3 CDs – he went on to win NPR’s Debut Artist of the Year and received two Juno nominations. Claudio has been the Conductor/Arranger for the CCSA orchestra since 2016, and in 2019, they did a tour of Bejing.

As a record producer, Claudio has worked with many international artists, including Ensemble Vivant, Alfie Zappacosta, Robert Pilon from Toronto’s Phantom of the Opera and soprano Kira Braun. He has collaborated in studio with Blue Rodeo, Jim Cuddy, Ron Sexsmith, Ann Murray, Steven Page, Ashley MacIsaac and Patricia O’Callaghan. As a violist, violinist, accordionist, guitarist and mandolin player, Claudio has performed with artists such as Paul Anka, Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Anne Murray, Blue Rodeo, Rod Stewart, Page and Plant, The Eagles and The Who. He was also the violin/mandolin player for the progressive rock group FM. In July 2018, the City of Toronto recognized him by naming a street, “Vena Way,” in his honour.