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February 15, 2017

Portland Symphony announces four finalists to be orchestra's next director

Courtesy / Portland Symphony Orchestra
Courtesy / Portland Symphony Orchestra
Starting from upper left and proceeding clockwise, the four finalists to replace the Portland Symphony Orcestra's Music Director Robert Moody after the 2017-18 season are: Ken-David Masur, Daniel Meyer, Eckart Preu and Alexander Mickelthwate.

The Portland Symphony Orchestra announced Tuesday there are four finalists under consideration for the position of music director, replacing Robert Moody, who will step down after the 2017-18 season.

Following an extensive international search, the four finalists are:

  • Ken-David Masur, assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony and artistic director of the Chelsea Music Festival
  • Daniel Meyer, music director of the Asheville Symphony and the Erie Philharmonic
  • Alexander Mickelthwate, music director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
  • Eckart Preu, music director of the Long Beach Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Stamford Symphony and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.

Next steps

The search committee, consisting of PSO musicians, staff, trustees and members of the community-at-large, began its search in fall 2015, according to a release from the PSO. The committee received more than 240 applications. After reviewing submissions, checking references, reviewing videos, watching candidates perform and conducting extensive interviews, the committee narrowed the pool to the four finalists.

"The symphony is tremendously grateful to Robert Moody and his tenure here," PSO Executive Director Carolyn Nishon said in a statement. "Under Robert's guidance we've added the popular 'Discovery Concerts,' working toward his aspiration of making music 'accessible to all, from age 4 to 104.' We entered an era of openness, strengthening our community ties, and we've operated in the black each year of his tenure, to mention a few highlights."

Each of the four finalists will conduct two concerts in the 2017-18 season at Merrill Auditorium: one classical concert in the PSO Classical series and one PSO POPS! program. Each program was proposed by its respective conductor and vetted by the search committee and Artistic Planning Committee.

Audience members will also be given a chance to share their feedback with the selection committee via online post-concert surveys.

Moody's 10-year career as the PSO's music director will culminate with Mahler's "Resurrection," to be performed on May 1, 2018.

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