Southwest Florida Symphony’s low-key approach to its music-director search

Posted on: January 25, 2022

Correction: The headline about the Southwest Florida Symphony in Monday’s Hub (1/24) incorrectly identified the orchestra. The corrected headline appears above, and below is the original text. “Southwest Florida Symphony’s search for a new music director is a much less formal process than the last time it had to find a maestro,” writes Charles Runnells in Wednesday’s (1/19) Fort Myers News-Press (FL). “Four conductors … are leading the symphony as guest conductors this season…. The idea is to take away the pressure and the ‘beauty pageant’ mentality, says Amy Ginsburg, the symphony’s executive director. Instead, she calls the concerts ‘test drives.’ And she says they’ll keep inviting guest conductors until they find a good fit…. The orchestra hasn’t officially advertised the guest conductors as candidates for the music director job, but Ginsburg says it’s already understood by many members in the audience—some of whom have already [stated] their thoughts about the guest conductors. The four conductors were handpicked by the orchestra’s music-director search consultant, Bob Moir…. He’s working with a symphony search committee featuring a mix of musicians, employees, board members and people from the Southwest Florida community…. The symphony’s previous music director, Nir Kabaretti, left the orchestra in 2020.” The article includes quotes from and biographies of music director candidates Vladimir Kulenovic, Laura Jackson, Stephen Mulligan, and Radu Paponiu.