Bjaland to guide Southwest Florida Symphony’s next artistic chapter

Posted on: July 13, 2012

“Leif Bjaland wants to re-energize Southwest Florida Symphony and its audience,” writes Charles Runnells in Friday’s (7/13) News-Press (Fort Myers, Florida). “How will he do that? The symphony’s new artistic adviser isn’t sure, exactly. But he has lots of ideas. Those ideas include helping find a potent new music director and staging elaborate multimedia concerts that offer people a more immersive experience. ‘I think they’re an outstanding group,’ Bjaland says of the symphony. ‘And I think there’s tremendous potential for further growth. I think the orchestra is poised for great things. I feel very honored to have been asked to do this.’ The symphony hired Bjaland—pronounced ‘bee-YAH-lund’—in May after not renewing the contract for music director Michael Hall. … Symphony Executive Director Fran Goldman knows Bjaland from working with him at Connecticut’s Waterbury Symphony. Bjaland, 56, remains music director for that symphony and also the Sarasota Symphony, which he’s conducted for 15 years. … ‘The symphony needs guidance moving forward,’ Goldman says. … ‘I think our musicians are going to really enjoy working with him. He’s a very steady, stabilizing influence.’ … Bjaland will conduct several concerts and help symphony leaders develop a long-range financial and artistic plan.”

Posted July 13, 2012