Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, the company's artistic directors since 1977, will retire at the end of the 2004-05 season.
Boal was picked from an initial group of 50 applicants, and has interviewed extensively and visited the Seattle company. In a press release, the ballet said Boal was selected for his connection to the Balanchine tradition and for his commitment to dance education. "We were also impressed with his quiet confidence, his obvious integrity and his ability to articulate a clear artistic vision," said Carl Behnke, chair of the ballet's search committee.
In late October, Boal will again visit Seattle to meet with the PNB's board of trustees and spend time with the 46-member company. The board's search committee is expected to recommend a candidate for the post by January 1, 2005.
Boal joined New York City Ballet in 1983, and became a principal with the company in 1989. He is a faculty member at the School of American Ballet and the founder and director of the four-member troupe Peter Boal and Company.
The other four finalists for the artistic director position, announced by the PNB in August, are Jeff Edward, associate artistic director of Washington Ballet; Victoria Morgan, artistic director of Cincinnati Ballet; Benjamin Houk, a former former principal dancer at PNB; and the team of Colleen Neary and Thordal Christensen, also PNB veterans.