Eugene Symphony’s national model for successful music director search

Posted on: March 15, 2017

“On Thursday, the Eugene Symphony auditions its final candidate for music director—in front of an audience of thousands at its Hult Center performance,” writes Brett Campbell in Monday’s (3/13) Oregon ArtsWatch. This week finalist Francesco Lecce-Chong leads a concert; finalists Dina Gilbert and Ryan McAdams led the concerts earlier in the season. “Choosing a new Eugene Symphony music director is big news in Oregon, of course, but it’s also national news. That’s because the orchestra … has launched the careers of three important American conductors”: Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Miguel Harth-Bedoya (Fort Worth Symphony), and Giancarlo Guerrero (Nashville Symphony). “It’s too early to tell where Guerrero’s successor, Danail Rachev, whose eight-year term ends this spring, will go next…. And the intensive, exhaustive process used to choose them all, largely created by local lawyer and arts supporter Roger Saydack, has become a national model—‘he literally wrote the book’ on picking a music director, says ESO executive director Scott Freck, noting that Saydack wrote the League of American Orchestras’ manual on orchestra MD searches.” The candidates work in Eugene “with musicians and the community, not by a resume. ‘That’s the beauty of this process,’ Freck says.”

Posted March 15, 2017

Pictured: Danail Rachev leads the Eugene Symphony