In Thursday’s (5/5) Pentagraph (Bloomington, Illinois), Dan Craft writes, “In its relatively short lifetime (18 years), the Illinois Symphony Orchestra has known but two conductors: Kenneth Kiesler, who commanded the podium from 1993 to 2000, and Karen Lynne Deal, who has wielded the baton over the 11 seasons since. The symphony will know a third conductor in due course after five finalists contend for the position over the course of the impending 2011-12 season. Until then, it will be a time of transition, as Deal steps up to the podium for her last stanzas with the ISO. The Twin City audience will bid adieu at 8 p.m. Friday in the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, followed by the Springfield audience Saturday night in the U of I at Springfield’s Sangamon Auditorium. … In her time here, the self-professed ‘people person’ has been a hit with her patrons, who’ve responded in kind to her outgoing personality—both inside the concert hall and out. Deal counts among her proudest achievements the ISO’s expansion in terms of performances, community outreach and that crucial up-close-and-personal interface with her public.” In an interview, Deal reflects on her time with the orchestra, how the economy has affected the organization, and what’s ahead in her career.
Posted May 5, 2011