Minczuk succeeds Hans Graf, now music director of the Houston Symphony, who stepped down at the end of the 2002-03 season after eight years. Minczuk has signed a three-year contract starting in 2006-07, with an option for a fourth year. He will lead six programs in 2006-07, eight in 2007-08, and ten in 2008-09.
He will also appear next season in a program of Wagner, Medelssohn, and Prokofiev.
Born in Brazil of Russian extraction, Minczuk was an accomplished horn player at an early age: he became principal horn of the Orquestra Sinfonica Municipal de Sê£o Paulo at age 13 and shortly thereafter came to New York, where he debuted with the New York Philharmonic and studied at the Juilliard School.
After completing his horn studies, he played for two years with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, but then returned to Brazil to study conducting. He has since served as music director of the University of Brasilia Orchestra and the Ribeirê£o Preto Symphony, and for nine years as co-artistic director of the much-praised Sê£o Paulo State Symphony Orchestra. He also spent two years as associate conductor of the New York Philharmonic, and is currently music director of Rio de Janeiro's Orchestra Sinfonica Brasileira.