Musical Leadership

Musical Leadership
Martín Benvenuto, artistic director

Martín Benvenuto is one of the leading choir conductors in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he has been Artistic Director of the Peninsula Women’s Chorus (PWC) since 2003. Active as a clinician, panelist, and guest conductor, Benvenuto has served as Artistic Director of WomenSing, the Contra Costa Children’s Chorus, and has been on the faculty of the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir.

Recognized for his exacting technique, and a passion for drawing the finest choral tone, Benvenuto’s repertoire is extensive. His choirs are dedicated to commissioning new works from upcoming and established composers from the U.S. and abroad, and have been selected to perform at Chorus America and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) conferences.

His choirs have also earned honors and high marks in international competitions in Argentina, South Africa, Canada, Hungary, and Spain. Of particular note are PWC’s American Prize in Choral Performance (winner in 2015, second place in 2011), the 2010 Chorus America/ASCAP Alice Parker award, which recognized WomenSing for programming recently composed music that expanded the mission of the chorus, and the Third Prize awarded to the PWC at the 2006 Béla Bartók International Choir Competition, one of the most prestigious on the European circuit.

Benvenuto highly values artistic collaborations: his choirs have collaborated with Veljo Tormis, Joseph Jennings, Karmina Silec and Carmina Slovenica, Charles Bruffy, Quinteto Latino, California Shakespeare Theater, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and the Golden Gate Men’s Chorus, among others. Benvenuto has prepared choirs for organizations such as the San Francisco Opera, the Oakland East Bay Symphony, the Redwood Symphony, and the Kronos Quartet. He has also has appeared as tenor soloist with leading Bay Area ensembles.

Benvenuto holds a D.M.A. in choral conducting from Boston University, where he studied with Ann Howard Jones and the late Robert Shaw. He earned his master’s degree from Westminster Choir College, where he studied with Joseph Flummerfelt, majoring both in Choral Conducting and in Voice Performance and Pedagogy. His undergraduate degrees in choral conducting and composition are from the Universidad Católica Argentina.

Margaret Fondbertasse, accompanist

Margaret Fondbertasse has devoted her adult years to finessing the art of accompanying, chamber music and teaching. A former student of John McCarthy, Anne Crowden and Janet Guggenheim, she earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Chamber Music from the University of California, Berkeley where she was the recipient of the Eisner Prize for piano performance. This was followed by an auspicious grant, the Hertz Fellowship, which enabled her to pursue postgraduate studies with John Wilson at the Royal College of Music in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Margaret made her solo orchestral debut playing Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Coastside Community Orchestra. In addition to the PWC, she accompanies the Skyline College Concert Choir under the direction of Jude Navari. A former staff accompanist at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, she currently serves as Faculty Accompanist at Skyline College, collaborates with mezzo-soprano Meghan Dibble as Katzenduo, and is the proud mother of her science nerd son, Zachary.