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Search tunes up for new maestro

September 23, 1997


Staff Writer

A search committee soon will interview 12 semifinalists for Maryland Symphony Orchestra conductor, as the quest to replace Maestro Barry Tuckwell kicks into high gear.

Pointing to two boxes overflowing with 253 resumes, managing director Marc D. Levy said the nine-member search group winnowed the field to 36 in mid-June and to 12 in mid-August.

Levy said officials hope to wrap up interviews by mid-November and to cut the number to four or five finalists. Each finalist will direct the orchestra in practice for a week and conduct a performance during the 1998-1999 season.


Levy said the orchestra would like to name a conductor by March 1999.

Levy said the MSO received about 50 more resumes than anticipated. He credited the organization's financial stability, community support and the reputation of Tuckwell, an internationally known conductor who is in his farewell season.

"We were very pleased. We had excellent candidates. Everyone was well-qualified," he said. "I think the reputation of the symphony is good and many conductors want to follow in his footsteps."

Levy said the MSO received applications from all over the country and several foreign nations. All of the 12 semifinalists are or have been either associate conductors or assistant conductors at major U.S. orchestras, he said.

"Any one of these 12 candidates would be wonderful," he said. "The challenge facing the search committee is really to find that one person who is best."

The committee will get help from the musicians and the public on that front. Levy said musicians will fill out evaluation forms and audience members will rate the directors after performances.

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