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Fernanda Lastra holds the position of Assistant Conductor, Diversity Fellow for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, under the mentorship of JoAnn Falletta.

In 2022, Fernanda was appointed Conductor Diversity Fellow and was promoted in 2023, accompanied by a one-year contract extension. In this role Fernanda serves as assistant conductor, cover conductor, and main conductor for the BPO Family Kids series, Music for Youth concerts, and community engagement performances. Fernanda also 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.

Born in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Fernanda Lastra is a passionate and creative conductor with a wide range of interests in repertoire, including symphonic, contemporary, and operatic works. Additionally, she has collaborated with artists such as Aida Cuevas, Jay White, Jeans’n Classics, and Michael Grandinetti for Pops and special concerts. In May 2025, Fernanda is scheduled to make her debut with the Buffalo Philharmonic in the classic series featuring pianist Avery Gagliano.

Besides regularly leading the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in several concerts as part of her role as Assistant Conductor, as a guest conductor Fernanda has led professional and youth orchestras in the United States, Argentina, and Brazil. Some of her previous engagements include conducting the Walla Walla Symphony in May 2024 as a music director candidate, as well as leading three performances of Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale alongside musicians from the Boston Symphony at The Birch Festival in June 2024, held in the Berkshires, Massachusetts. As an assistant and cover conductor, Fernanda has had the opportunity to work alongside esteemed conductors such as JoAnn Falletta, Giancarlo Guerrero, Maximiano Valdés, Gerard Schwarz, Mei-Ann Chen, Joseph Caballé-Domenech, and Michael Francis, among others. 

Committed to featuring diverse voices in concert halls, Fernanda is an advocate for Latin American composers, particularly those from Argentina. She is equally dedicated to creating well-balanced and diverse programs that enhance the overall concert experience. Fernanda is passionate about community engagement and music education, as she believes in the transformative power of music to unite, heal, and to develop emotional intelligence.

In 2023, Fernanda received a prestigious recognition from Argentina's National Classical Radio at their annual "Premios Nacional Clásica" in the category of "established female conductor." Additionally, in November 2024, she will be presented with the "Career Advancement Award" at the Women in Classical Music Symposium held by the Dallas Symphony.

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