James Conlon Steps Down as Ravinia Festival's Music Director

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James Conlon Steps Down as Ravinia Festival's Music Director

According to the New York Times, Ravinia Festival music director James Conlon announced that he will depart his position after the 2015 season. He told NYT: "I have worked year-round, including every summer, since 1974. There are things I wish to accomplish, both musical and personal, and I need dedicated time to realize these projects."

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James Conlon, one of today's most versatile and respected conductors, has cultivated a vast symphonic, operatic and choral repertoire. Since his 1974 debut with the New York Philharmonic, he has conducted virtually every major American and European symphony orchestra. Through worldwide touring, an extensive discography and videography, numerous essays and commentaries, frequent television appearances and guest speaking engagements, Mr. Conlon is one of classical music's most recognized interpreters.

Mr. Conlon is music director of Los Angeles Opera (since 2006), music director of the Ravinia Festival, summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (since 2005), and music director of America's oldest choral festival, the Cincinnati May Festival (since 1979), where he has provided the artistic leadership for more May Festivals than any other music director in the festival's 140-year history and holds a place among the longest-tenured music directors of any major classical music institution in the United States. He has served as Principal Conductor of the Paris National Opera (1995-2004); General Music Director of the City of Cologne, Germany (1989-2002), where he was Music Director of both the Gürzenich Orchestra-Cologne Philharmonic and the Cologne Opera; and Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic (1983-1991).

Mr. Conlon has conducted more than 270 performances at the Metropolitan Opera since his debut there in 1976. He has also appeared at Teatro alla Scala, the Royal Opera at Covent Garden in London, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Teatro del Opera di Roma. In the course of his career, he has conducted more than ninety operas and several hundred symphonic and choral works.

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