First of six conductor candidates set to lead El Paso Symphony

Posted on: September 19, 2011

In Sunday’s (9/18) El Paso Times (Texas), Doug Pullen writes, “Kenneth Raskin is a firm believer that ‘while classical music isn’t for everybody, it can be for everybody.’ That’s one reason the associate conductor of the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra applied to be the El Paso Symphony Orchestra’s seventh conductor-music director. … Raskin is one of six finalists for the job, vacated at the end of last season by Sarah Ioannides, who led the orchestra for six years. The candidates were chosen from among 250 applicants, vetted by a 10-member committee of orchestra and board members over a nine-month period. The other five hopefuls will conduct their own programs later this season. Raskin gets first crack, leading the season-opener Friday and Saturday at the Plaza Theatre. The program, which will launch the orchestra’s 81st season, will open with Mozart’s short Symphony No. 32, followed by Saint-Saëns’ second piano concerto (featuring Juilliard-trained Michael Gurt). It will close with Mahler’s epic first symphony. Raskin, also a finalist for the Illinois Symphony Orchestra’s top job, has never been the music director of a midsize orchestra like El Paso’s but has extensive experience as a musician and conductor.”

Posted September 19, 2011