Ms. Woods emerged as a conductor to notice from the moment she began her career. Within a year of finishing her studies the Orchestras of the Worcester Consortium invited her to lead their combined forces of 119 in Stravinsky’s daunting masterwork, Le Sacre du Printemps. That same year Ms. Woods was one of the elite few to be a finalist for Leonard Slatkin’s National Conducting Institute at the Kennedy Center. Since then, Ms. Woods has become an established voice in the conducting community. Beyond her duties as a Music Director she is a busy guest conductor. She has traveled across two continents, performing coast to coast in the U.S. and in countries such as England, Scotland, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.
Woods’ commitment to new music spans her entire career. As a student she had the opportunity to study with icons such as George Crumb and John Corigliano. As a Music Director she has strived to make contemporary music fresh, approachable and exciting to her orchestras and audiences. Recent highlights include: a two day lecture /performance residency with Grammy Award winning composer Joan Tower and Montreal International Violin Competition winner Peter Zazofsky, for the Boston premiere of Tower’s Concerto for Violin; CSO’s 35th anniversary commission and premiere of Emerald Waltz by Rome Prize winner Lisa Bielawa and the premiere of a new arrangement of Alec Templeton’s Pocket Size Sonata by Larry Wolfe of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Woods was also honored to be a Fellow at the prestigious Atlantic Center for the Arts to further her study of composition.
Ms. Woods performs in all idioms including opera, choral, chamber and symphonic orchestra; from her “haunting” performance of Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony op. 110a to her first Beethoven Symphony NO. 9 with Boston Globe’s 1995 “Musician of the Year” baritone Robert Honeysucker, she has received ovations and acclaim from audience and critics alike.
Ms. Woods began her musical studies as a violinist, focusing heavily on chamber music. Her undergraduate quartet scholarship at the University of Colorado- Boulder allowed her to study side by side with the Grammy award winning Takacs String Quartet. Additional work with members of the celebrated Muir and Stanford String Quartets followed. Eventually she turned her attention to the podium earning an M.M. and Artist Diploma from the Hartt School of Music where she was the recipient of the Dean’s Talent Scholarship Award for the duration of her study there. Her major teachers include Michael Morgan, Harold Farberman and Daniel Lewis with additional study with Gunther Schuller and David Effron.
Ms. Woods was appointed to her current position as Music Director of the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra in 2006.