Handicapping the Philadelphia Orchestra music-director search

Posted on: March 24, 2009

According to Peter Dobrin in Sunday’s (3/22) Philadelphia Inquirer, “The Philadelphia Orchestra’s search for a music director is, in all likelihood, over. That doesn’t mean a decision has been made, much less an offer extended or accepted. … Vladimir Jurowski’s last visit with the orchestra ended the need to look any further.” Dobrin considers Juroswski the front-runner; the only other high-profile conductor who the writer thinks would be a serious candidate is Simon Rattle, whose agent has already said no. “All the other promising leads—except one—have been here only once and are scheduled for a single visit next season.” Dobrin notes that in a year’s time, these candidates will not have been heard in enough repertoire to make an informed decision, and further deliberation could open the window for candidates to take other jobs. “A promising development on the leadership front was Thursday’s election of businessman Richard Worley—considered by many to be a knowledgeable and passionate music-lover—as board chair. A few voices are calling for [Charles] Dutoit to become music director for a short, finite period. This expanded caretaker role might work; his declared mission of inculcating the orchestra’s tradition in young players is admirable and necessary.” But Dobrin believes this approach would work best if Dutoit’s successor were already chosen.
March 24, 2009