Savannah Philharmonic’s eight music director candidates reflect focus on diversity

Posted on: December 14, 2018

“The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra released a list of eight finalists this week who will vie next year to replace Peter Shannon as music director” in 2019-20, writes Joshua Peacock in Wednesday’s (12/12) Savannah Morning News (GA). “The SPO has hired outside consultant Henry Fogel to help with the search process. Fogel [is] an 18-year veteran of the famed Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and former President of the League of American Orchestras…. From a list of criteria handed to him by search committee chairman and SPO Treasurer Scott Lauretti, Fogel trimmed down hundreds of applications to … eight candidates.” They are Nadege Foofat, Janna Hymes, Roger Kalia, Vladimir Kulenovic, Enrico Lopez-Yanez, Sameer Patel, Vlad Vizireanu, and Lidiya Yankovskaya, and include “three women and two people of color…. ‘A diverse group of candidates … was at the top of my list,’ Lauretti said.” Said Fogel, “I’ve been in the business for 40 years. In the first 20 years of being in this business, I had literally seen four women conduct concerts. In the second 20 years, I had seen 40. It’s growing…. It’s a similar problem with African-Americans, the field excluded women as conductors…. It will take another generation for that to even out or more.” Four of the Savannah Philharmonic’s music director candidates—Foofat, Kulenovic, Patel, and Yankovskaya—participated in the League of American Orchestras’ Bruno Walter National Conducting Preview, which showcases emerging conductors.

Posted December 14, 2018

In photo: Savannah Philharmonic music director candidates, top row, left to right, Nadege Foofat, Sameer Patel, Lidiya Yankovskaya, Vladimir Kulenovic; bottom row, left to right, Roger Kalia, Enrico Lopez-Yanez, Vlad Vizireanu, Janna Hymes.