Fernanda Lastra was born in Mar del Plata, Argentina. As a passionate and creative conductor, she is interested in a wide variety of repertoire, including symphonic, contemporary, and operatic works.
In 2022, Fernanda is appointed "Conductor Diversity Fellow" at the Buffalo Philharmonic through a national search and live audition. Under the mentorship of JoAnn Falletta, this is a two-year fellowship position. In this role Fernanda serves as assistant conductor, cover conductor, and main conductor for the BPO Family Kids series and Music for Youth concerts. In addition, Fernanda serves as a member of the BPO’s artistic team, the BPO's music education committee and the BPO’s Diversity Council, among other responsibilities.
As guest conductor Fernanda has led professional and youth orchestras in the United States, Argentina, and Brazil. Some of her latest engagements include conducting the National Orchestra of Argentine Music Juan de Dios Filiberto at the CCK National Auditorium in Buenos Aires, and the production of Missy Mazzoli's opera "Song from the Uproar" in collaboration with Demaskus Theatre and Kassia Ensemble in Pittsburgh.
In 2022, Fernanda was selected as a conducting associate and in 2021 as conducting fellow for the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music led by Mtro. Cristian Macelaru. In 2019, she was a finalist for the Assistant Conductor position at the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, and in 2018 Fernanda was awarded First Prize for the conducting competition held by the Opera de Bauge, France.
Fernanda Lastra is a passionate advocate for Latin American composers, especially those from Argentina. In 2020, Fernanda created Compositores.AR, a cycle of interviews of Argentinian composers in collaboration with MúsicaClasicaBA in Buenos Aires. Fernanda also collaborated with Boulanger Initiative’s internship program, and in 2018 attended the Eastman Leadership Academy as an Eastman-Yamaha Fellow.
From 2021-2022 Fernanda Lastra served as Director of Orchestras at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, where she led the Symphony and Chamber orchestras. She also served as Assistant conductor for the University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra from 2018-2022.