Chattanooga Symphony & Opera appoints first female music director

Posted on: April 21, 2011

In Thursday’s (4/21) Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee), Holly Leber reports, “After a two-year search, the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera has selected a new music director. Kayoko Dan, 33, will succeed Robert Bernhardt as the eighth leader of the CSO. She is the first woman and the youngest person to earn the position of CSO music director. … Dan is currently the director of the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra in Lexington. The position in Chattanooga will be her first leading a full orchestra. Bernhardt, who held the position for 19 years, will continue as pops conductor and will become the CSO’s first music director emeritus. An 11-member committee, including four musicians, made the selection. More than 250 applications for the CSO position from across the United States were sent to Henry Fogel, a Chicago-based orchestral consultant [and former president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras] who narrowed the field to 45. … Over two years, the top nine of 12 finalists each led the CSO as a guest conductor. ‘There was a great chemistry we had together,’ Dan said in a recent interview. ‘It felt good, being on the podium here and working with them.’ ”

Posted April 21, 2011