Genesee Symphony names S. Shade Zajac permanent conductor

Posted on: May 23, 2016

“Any concern that S. Shade Zajac felt about conducting Genesee Symphony Orchestra performers four decades his senior washed away quickly in his turn as a guest conductor last fall,” writes Jim Krencik in Friday’s (5/20) Daily News (Upstate N.Y.). Zajac, “who signed on Friday as the GSO’s permanent conductor…has performed as a cellist since he was three years old…. He studied cello under Mimi Hwang and composition under Nancy Strelau before graduating Nazareth College in 2015. He sees the diversity of ages and experiences as a strength of the Batavia-based orchestra…. Zajac was one of four finalists to succeed former conductor Raffaele Ponti, a process that brought new perspectives to a community orchestra nearing its seventh decade.” Zajac “has recently finished his first symphony, which is dedicated to Strelau. His plans for the 2016-17 season aren’t firm, but [he] noted an interest in having the GSO dive into Beethoven for the first time in a while. He hopes to expand the repertoire that audiences should expect from the orchestra.” Zajac’s debut as permanent conductor “will likely come with a small event in the summer, [and] with the GSO’s concert season opening in October.”

Posted May 23, 2016