Strickler leaving Topeka Symphony after 22 years

Posted on: August 24, 2011

In Friday’s (8/19) Topeka Capital-Journal (Kansas), Bill Blankenship writes, “The Topeka Symphony Orchestra announced Thursday that John W. Strickler, its music director and conductor for 22 years, will step down as maestro at the end of the orchestra’s 2011-12 season. Strickler, 58, when contacted Thursday by telephone at the symphony offices confirmed his departure was a resignation and not a retirement. He declined further comment on his reasons for leaving. … He remains music director and conductor of the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra in Biloxi, Miss., a position he has held contemporaneously with the TSO job since 1999. Mike Lennen, president of the Topeka Symphony Society of board of directors, praised Strickler’s tenure in the announcement of his departure. … Strickler, a 1998 recipient of the Kansas Governor’s Arts Award in recognition to his contributions to the cultural life of Topeka and northeast Kansas, has shepherded the orchestra from an all-volunteer community orchestra to a professional regional ensemble. … Kathy Maag, the Topeka Symphony’s general manager, said a search committee to find Strickler’s replacement has been formed but hasn’t met. … The symphony also will contact the League of American Orchestras for assistance with the search.”

Posted August 24, 2011