Willis takes baton as California Symphony music director candidate

Posted on: February 6, 2013

In Tuesday’s (2/5) San Jose Mercury News (California), Sue Gilmore writes, “The fifth of seven up-and-coming young conductors auditioning throughout the current season for the post as California Symphony music director raises his baton in Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts on Tuesday night—and he’s in the mood for love. The Grammy-nominated Alistair Willis, 41, a Massachusetts native who spent much of his youth in Moscow and England, is leading a pre-Valentine’s Day ‘Sounds of Love’ concert that will include selections from Leonard Bernstein’s ‘West Side Story,’ Georges Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ and Jacques Offenbach’s ‘Tales of Hoffmann.’ … If the lineup sounds a tad fluffy as audition material for a hopeful maestro of the middleweight but highly regarded modern symphony orchestra—not to worry. Willis’ track record clearly shows he has the chops to conduct the heavy duty stuff as well. For his first concert as the incoming music director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra this past summer, Willis chose Beethoven’s mighty Fifth Symphony. … Among the others in contention [for the Illinois post], as irony would have it, was San Francisco Symphony resident conductor Donato Cabrera, who is next in line in the cavalcade auditioning at California Symphony.”

Posted February 6, 2013