Portland Symphony music directors reunite for 90th anniversary celebration

Posted on: April 27, 2015

“Toshiyuki Shimada is looking forward to reconnecting with oboe players, his brethren. Bruce Hangen can’t wait to hear what the Kotzschmar Organ sounds like, now that it’s been rebuilt,” writes Bob Keyes in Sunday’s (4/26) Portland Press Herald (Maine). “Paul Vermel, well, he’s just happy to be here. ‘It’s been 40 years,’ the 92-year-old former music director of the Portland Symphony Orchestra effused. ‘I’m very excited to be back with the orchestra.’ The three former conductors will join current maestro Robert Moody on the Merrill Auditorium stage Saturday, as the orchestra closes its 90th season by bringing together the four men who led the orchestra more than half its creative life.… Beginning with Vermel in 1967, each conductor led the orchestra through moments of creative growth. Until then, the orchestra was mostly a volunteer, community orchestra. Vermel (1967-75) helped the PSO become more professional, Hangen (1976-86) helped modernize it and Shimada (1986-2006) made it the toast of the town with the renovation of Merrill Auditorium. Moody, who began in 2007, has infused the orchestra with energy and contemporary programming, and solidified its stature as one of the country’s finest small-city orchestras.”

Posted April 27, 2015