Has the Chicago Sinfonietta found its next music director?

Posted on: May 19, 2010

In Tuesday’s (5/18) Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein writes, “The most prominent podium up for grabs in the area at the moment is the Chicago Sinfonietta’s. A search for a new music director has been underway since last year when Paul Freeman, the orchestra’s founder and chief conductor since 1987, announced he will step down for health reasons at the close of the 2010-11 season. The field has since been narrowed to eight candidates, five of whom have directed the ensemble this season. The latest contender, John McLaughlin Williams, made his Sinfonietta conducting debut at Orchestra Hall on Monday night, when he shared the program with Freeman. His strong showing suggested the board may have found Mr. Right Fit. The 52-year-old North Carolina native, who lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and young daughter, has paid his professional dues. He is an accomplished violinist and pianist. Most crucially, he’s a gifted conductor who shares the Sinfonietta commitment to advancing diversity. … The orchestra will announce its next music director in August, said executive director Jim Hirsch. The timing will allow the new person almost a full year in which to map out his or her debut season while the Sinfonietta prepares for its 25th anniversary in 2012-13.”

Posted May 19, 2010