Salesky's appointment is effective immediately. He succeeds Francis Graffeo, who stepped down at the end of April in order to pursue guest-conducting opportunities.
Saleskey has previously served as resident conductor at New York City Opera, where he directed the touring New York City Opera National Company. He has conducted opera companies, orchestras, and Broadway shows, and worked for the Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera in administrative positions. He also helped found the Raul Julia Ending Hunger Fund.
At Knoxville Opera, Saleskey will oversee artistic planning and administration as well as conducting. He is currently planning the company's 2005-06 season, KO president Jackie Wilson said.
"We are pleased to welcome Brian Salesky to Knoxville Opera," Wilson added. "We believe that Brian's talent and experience in both the artistic and business management aspects of performing arts will enable us to continue to bring high-quality opera productions to Knoxville for years to come, and to do so on a fiscally responsible basis."
When Graffeo announced his departure in mid-April, company officials said they would launch a national search for his successor. In fact, officials told the Knoxville News Sentinel, they knew at the time that Salesky was their first choice for the position, and had already been in contact with him. He arrived in Knoxville about a week later.