Critic Handicaps Candidates for Detroit Symphony Podium

Classic Arts News   Critic Handicaps Candidates for Detroit Symphony Podium
In an article published yesterday, Detroit Free Press critic Mark Stryker examines the candidates to succeed Neeme J‹rvi as music director of the Detroit Symphony and concludes that Charles Dutoit, the longtime music director of Montreal Symphony, is most likely to get the job.

The DSO has been relatively slow in naming a new music director— J‹rvi announced in 2002 that he would step down in 2005—and Stryker frets that the orchestra is ceding the national spotlight to comparable orchestras with high-profile conductors, like the St. Louis Symphony's David Robertson and the Atlanta Symphony's Robert Spano.

According to Stryker, Dutoit and Rafael Fr‹hbeck de Burgos are the two candidates with the strongest support from DSO musicians. But Fr‹hbeck de Burgos has already declined to be considered.

Other contenders include Peter Oundjian, the violinist-turned-conductor who is currently music director of the Toronto Symphony; Mark Wigglesworth, the British conductor who was recently named music director of Belgium's Th_ê¢tre Royal de la Monnaie; Hans Graf, the Austrian-born conductor of the Houstan Grand Opera; and Yan Pascal Tortelier, the principal guest conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Less likely possibilities, Stryker says, include American conductor Hugh Wolff, who was a finalist when the DSO hired J‹rvi in 1990, and Andrew Davis, the music director of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the music advisor of the Pittsburgh Symphony. Among "wild cards" who are scheduled to guest-conduct the DSO soon are Leonard Slatkin, Dennis Russell Davies, and James Conlon.

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