Lidiya Yankovskaya is a fiercely committed advocate for Russian masterpieces, operatic rarities, and contemporary works on the leading edge of classical music. As Music Director of Chicago Opera Theater, she has established the Vanguard Initiative, a three-pronged investment in new opera that includes a two-year residency for emerging opera composers. Ms. Yankovskaya is also Founder and Artistic Director of the Refugee Orchestra Project, which proclaims the cultural and societal relevance of refugees through music. She is an alumna of Dallas Opera’s Hart Institute for Women Conductors and Marin Alsop’s Taki Concordia Fellowship, and a recipient of a 2018 Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award. A sought-after speaker, Ms. Yankovskaya has led sessions at the League of American Orchestras and Opera America conferences, and recently served as U.S. Representative to the World Opera Forum in Madrid.