Butterman is currently associate conductor of the Jacksonville (Florida) Symphony, music director of Opera Southwest in Albuquerque, and principal conductor for education and outreach at the Rochester Philharmonic. He will serve as the SSO's music director designate in 2005-06 and will take up the post full time in 2006-07.
Butterman succeeds Dennis Simons, who stepped down in 2003 after seven years as music director. Concertmaster Kermit Poling has been interim music director for the last two years.
According to the Shreveport Times, the other finalists were David In-Jae Cho, resident conductor of the San Antonio Symphony; Timothy Hankewich, resident conductor of the Kansas City Symphony; William Curry, associate conductor of the North Carolina Symphony; and Arthur Post, music director of the San Juan Symphony. All of the finalists guest-conducted the SSO during the 2004-05 season.
"We are so pleased to have someone of Michael's caliber directing the SSO's music program," said Scott Green, SSO interim executive director. "We've searched long and hard and have found in Michael the right mix of talent, expertise, and leadership to help continue our mission to enhance cultural life in our community and provide artistic performances of the highest quality."
Butterman has previously worked as director of orchestral studies at Louisiana State University, associate conductor of the Columbus Pro Musica Orchestra, and music director of several student groups at Indiana University.