Monday, September 11, 2006

Why? Because A Great Nation Deserves Great Orchestral Conductors ... Dallas, Chicago, Washington, D.C., And Detroit Seek New Music Directors

"You can't mention the Dallas Symphony Orchestra these days without asking The Question: Who's going to be the new music director?

The orchestra's 2006-07 season, which opens Thursday, will be its first without a music director since the 1993-94 interregnum between Eduardo Mata and Andrew Litton. Mr. Litton stepped down in June after 12 years on the job.

Claus Peter Flor, starting his seventh season as the DSO's principal guest conductor, is leading the first two programs of the classical series. (The opening program comprises Wagner's Die Meistersinger Overture, Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2 –Alex Kobrin, piano – and a suite from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet.)

After conducting one electrifying concert after another in recent seasons, the 53-year-old, Berlin-based Mr. Flor would be the choice of many musical cognoscenti for the top job.

But at the moment, rumor has it the top contenders are two other Europeans, both in their 40s: Andrey Boreyko, half-Polish and half-Russian, and the Dutchman Jaap van Zweden.

Both left strong impressions in guest-conducting gigs with the DSO last season, and members of the DSO's search committee have traveled to see both conductors work with other orchestras. Mr. Boreyko will return to lead an all-Russian program in October.

Major orchestras rarely identify candidates for their music director posts, although searches always inspire lots of rumor and speculation. The DSO's 15-member search committee is sworn to secrecy, and Dallas Symphony Association president Fred Bronstein, clearly the kingmaker in the process, is exquisitely cagey. ...

"It's very typical for orchestras to go one, two, sometimes even three seasons without a music director," he says. "We're just starting our first season without a music director. If you have a very high quality of guest conductors come in, you're going to get a great product in the meantime."

At least there aren't as many orchestras competing for conductors as there were only a few years ago. Among major American symphony orchestras, only the Chicago, National and Detroit symphony orchestras are publicly in search mode."

Scott Cantrell "Help wanted: Superconductor -- DSO starts season without director, but with contenders" September 2, 2006

Back to the future? ... Berlin, Germany-based Claus Peter Flor is one of three leading European contenders to be the next Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Photo credit: via With thanks.


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