Philharmonic president Zarin Mehta told the paper that the orchestra is also planning to add other new positions, including a composer-in-residence, artistic director for a mini-festival, and an artist-in-residence.
Under the plan suggested by Mehta to the Times, a music director would conduct a standard 12- to 14-week schedule (out of a 44-week season), and the principal conductor would lead an additional 8 to 10 weeks to diversify the artistic offerings while maintaining artistic continuity.
The new position would entail far greater responsibilities than those typically assigned to a principal guest conductor: besides contributing artistically, he or she would also assist with fund-raising and community initiatives and lead tours, writes the Times.
Mehta told the paper that no conductors have been approached about either the music directorship or principal conductor position. He added that Daniel Barenboim and Riccardo Muti, two possibilities often mentioned by observers, are not interested in the music directorship.
The composer-in-residence would assist running a potenial new-music ensemble within the orchestra and attempt to change the perception that the Philharmonic is not new-music-friendly. The last composer in residence was David Del Tredici, in 1990.