On Thursday’s (3/3) Wall Street Journal, David Mermelstein profiles conductor Christoph Eschenbach, currently in his first season as “music director of both the National Symphony Orchestra and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in whose Concert Hall the orchestra performs. In fact, it was the joint appointment—created especially for him—that persuaded the conductor to make Washington, D.C. his base in the U.S. (His three-year contract comes with an option for a two-year extension.) ‘I know and the world knows the Kennedy Center as one of the greatest art institutions,’ Mr. Eschenbach said … ‘To have a say in the musical side—in programming, in counseling on everything which is musical here—is very interesting. Besides, the National Symphony is a really great orchestra. They can rise immediately to an enormous level, and that’s exciting.’ Conductor and orchestra will have a chance to prove that as they embark on their first festival together, ‘Maximum India,’ a Kennedy Center-wide celebration of performing arts from the subcontinent. … The conductor asked the tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain to write a new piece for the festival.” The article discusses Eschenbach’s time as music director of the Houston Symphony, Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Posted on March 3, 2011