Fernanda Lastra


Born and raised in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Fernanda Lastra’s passionate form as a conductor is fueled by her energetic and creative personality which carries over into her leadership, artistic and musical director roles.

Fernanda currently serves as Assistant Conductor for The University of Iowa Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, conducting both groups regularly. In addition, she co-conducts the UI Campus Orchestra (AUSO) and serves as Assistant Conductor for the UI Opera program, conducting in performance Little Women by Mark Adamo in May 2019. 

In 2020 Fernanda was a finalist for the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra’s Assistant Conductor position and she was awarded First Prize in the Opera de Bauge Conducting Competition in France in 2018.

In June, 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 2019 attended the Eastman Leadership Academy as an Eastman-Yamaha Fellow.

In April 2019 she joined the production of Cavalleria Rusticana in Neuchatel, Switzerland as Assistant conductor of Musiques des Lumieres Orquestre and in November conducted for Revival Theatre Company the production of the legendary Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma.

During the 2016-2017 season she served as Principal Conductor for CPYO (Central Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra) and from 2008-2012 she served as Professor of Orchestral Activities at El Sistema, Argentina. From 2005 to 2016 she worked as Assistant Professor at La Plata University, Argentina.

Moved by a strong conviction about the vitality that classical music can foster in our communities, Fernanda created La Trama Ensamble in 2013. She led this passion project for four years as its artistic and musical director. 

Fernanda had conducted under the supervision of renowned Maestros as: Larry Rachleff and Donald Schleicher (with Sophia, New Symphony Orchestra – Bulgaria),  M. Luis Gorelik (with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Entre Ríos, Argentina) ; M. Abel Rocha (with the Orchestra Sinfônica de Santo André – Brazil), M. Daizuke Soga (with the Orchestra Sinfônica de Londrina, Brazil),  as well as she participated in  masterclasses with Jac van Steen (Netherlands), Carlo Montanaro (Italy, USA), Rodolfo Fischer (Switzerland, Chile), Konstantinos Diminakis (Austria), Katherine Larsen McGuire (UK), Osvaldo Ferreira (Portugal), Ariel Alonso (France – Argentina).

Trained as a pianist, Fernanda plays viola with UI Orchestras. Fernanda holds two Bachelor’s degrees from La Plata University in Orchestral and Choral Conducting, a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting from Penn State University, and she is completing Doctoral studies in Orchestral Conducting at The University of Iowa.