Conductor Farrer to step down from Bakersfield Symphony

Posted on: May 2, 2013

In Thursday’s (5/2) Bakersfield Californian, Susan Scaffidi writes, “John Farrer, who has served the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra as conductor for nearly half the life of the venerable arts organization, will leave the podium after the 2013-14 season. ‘I am not retiring,’ Farrer stressed in an interview with The Californian. ‘I will continue my professional life full bore.’ … It’s unclear who ultimately made the decision about Farrer’s future, but BSO board president Jim Bell said the issue of the conductor’s departure wasn’t a ‘new discussion,’ adding that the BSO board of directors had been negotiating with Farrer since June of last year. … In early March, Bryan Burrow assumed the title and duties of CEO and executive director, which had been part of Farrer’s role for much of his 38-year tenure. Bell said Farrer’s departure has nothing to do with performance issues or the state of the BSO organization, whose budget this year was in the neighborhood of $800,000, down from the organization’s high of $1.2 million in 2006-07. … Board member Joe Drew praised Farrer during an interview Tuesday, saying the Bakersfield conductor enjoyed an international reputation. … A search committee of 10 people, including board members, orchestra musicians and ‘at-large’ community members, will sift through an anticipated 200 to 300 applications in their search for a new conductor, which has had only five in its 80-year history, Bell said.”

Posted May 2, 2013