Dallas Symphony Opens Season, First in Dozen Years Without Music Director

Classic Arts News   Dallas Symphony Opens Season, First in Dozen Years Without Music Director
After 12 years under the baton of Andrew Litton, the Dallas Symphony opens its season this evening at the Meyerson Symphony Center without a music director in place.

On the podium for tonight's program — the prelude to Wagner's Die Meistersinger, Liszt's Second Piano Concerto (with soloist Alex Kobrin, winner of the 2005 Van Cliburn Competition) and a suite of excerpts from Prokofiev's ballet Romeo & Juliet — is a potential leading candidate for the job: Claus Peter Flor, the orchestra's Principal Guest Conductor and a man who has led "one electrifying concert after another in recent seasons," as Dallas Morning News critic Scott Cantrell puts it.

In his season preview for the Morning News last weekend, Cantrell praised the 53-year-old Flor as a potential music director, saying that "the DSO could hardly do better ... [he] seems to get better with each season." Cantrell also identified two other leading candidates who gave impressive performances with the Dallas Symphony last season: 49-year-old Andrey Boreyko, currently chief conductor of the Hamburger Symphoniker (Germany) and the Bern Symphony (Switzerland) and from 2001 to 2005 music director of the Winnipeg Symphony in Canada; and 45-year-old Jaap van Zweden, chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and principal conductor-designate of deFilharmonie in Antwerp.

But the orchestra's administration isn't going to rush into a decision. "It's very typical for orchestras to go one, two, sometimes even three seasons without a music director," Dallas Symphony Association president Fred Bronstein told Cantrell. "We're just starting our first season without a music director. If you have a very high quality of guest conductors come in, you're going to get a great product in the meantime."

For information on this weekend's season-opening program and the entire Dallas Symphony 2006-07 season, visit www.dallassymphony.com.

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