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Schulze renews MSO contract

December 07, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - The Maryland Symphony Orchestra's conductor has signed on for another four seasons.

The contract of Elizabeth Schulze, who started as MSO music director in 1999, has been extended through the 2011-12 season, according to an MSO news release.

"We get a sense from our musicians that they enjoy working with her," Brendan Fitzsimmons, president of the MSO board, said Wednesday.

Schulze is out of town, Fitzsimmons said, but she will return to direct the MSO during holiday concerts Dec. 16 and 17, he said.

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The MSO board felt it was important to retain Schulze because of her contributions to both the symphony and the community, Fitzsimmons said.

"Elizabeth developed the artistic level to a level we believe has been extraordinary," he said.

Under Schulze's direction, the MSO has changed. Most of its musicians used to be local people, he said. Now, "they come to Hagerstown to play with Elizabeth," he said.

She also gives of her time generously, he said.

Schulze conducts the public schools All County Orchestra program on a volunteer basis, Fitzsimmons said.

"It's not written into her contract," he said. "She gives of her time very generously."

Fitzsimmons declined to reveal Schulze's salary under the new contract, calling it a personnel matter.

In 1999, Schulze succeeded Barry Tuckwell, who was the founding music director and conductor of the MSO for its first 16 concert seasons. He resigned at the end of the 1997-98 season.

She was formerly the associate conductor of Washington's National Symphony Orchestra. She is an honors graduate of Bryn Mawr College and holds graduate degrees in Orchestral and Choral Conducting from SUNY at Stony Brook.

Schulze has also led the American Composer's Orchestra in educational and family concerts at Carnegie Hall.

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