Pablo Heras-Casado Extends Contract with Orchestra of St. Luke's Through 2017

Pablo Heras-Casado Extends Contract with Orchestra of St. Luke's Through 2017

Approaching its 40th anniversary season, Orchestra of St. Luke's (OSL) is thrilled to announce its continued relationship with Principal Conductor Pablo Heras-Casado, formalized in a two-year contract extension signed last week. Heras-Casado, who was appointed to a four-year term as OSL's principal conductor in 2011, will remain in that post through September 2017.

In each of the next three seasons, Heras-Casado will lead two concerts on OSL's Carnegie Hall Orchestra Series. In 2014/2015, these include a November 6, 2014 program of Purcell, Tchaikovsky, Dallapiccola, and Mendelssohn; and an April 23, 2015 program of Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and Beethoven, featuring cellist Alisa Weilerstein. Heras-Casado will continue to conduct OSL at its summer home, Caramoor Music Festival-this summer leading the Festival Finale concert on August 3, 2014, which also features Weilerstein. This concert will be broadcast live on classical radio station WQXR.

OSL plans to release its first album with Heras-Casado during his continued tenure. The album-to be recorded at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, the rehearsal and recording facility that OSL owns and operates-will include Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 1, "Winter Dreams" and The Tempest. It will be on the harmonia mundi label, which released two widely acclaimed albums by Heras-Casado in the past year: Schubert's Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra in fall 2013, followed by Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 2 with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in spring 2014. Appearing on more than 90 recordings in total, OSL's most recent release features the Schoenberg chamber arrangement of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde on its own label, St. Luke's Collection. OSL's musicians look forward to working with Heras-Casado on this new orchestral recording project featuring two of Tchaikovsky's earliest notable works, both of which are wonderfully vibrant and dramatic.

Heras-Casado, 36, is one of the world's fastest-rising conductors. In the past season, he debuted at the Metropolitan Opera and with the New York Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra, among others. He was named Musical America's 2014 Conductor of the Year, and following his first concert on OSL's Carnegie Hall Orchestra Series in 2013, The New York Times called him "the thinking person's idea of a hotshot young conductor."

"From the first concert OSL performed with Pablo, we have witnessed indescribable musical moments that come from a perfect match of orchestra and conductor" says OSL President and Executive Director Katy Clark. "It is immensely exciting to know that this relationship will grow and deepen in the coming years."

"Since 2011, New York City has become my adopted home and OSL has become my musical family," says Heras-Casado. "I have such great respect for the members of this orchestra-their passion, versatility, and sensitivity to musical nuance. To be able to continue our work together is a joy."

"I have no doubt that Pablo will bring his fresh artistic vision and unmatched charisma to the ambitious projects and programs planned for Orchestra of St. Luke's upcoming seasons," adds OSL Board Chairman Norman Benzaquen. "OSL's relationship with such an outstanding conductor reaffirms its stature as a world-class orchestra."

OSL is thriving, both artistically and organizationally, as it enters its 40th anniversary season. In January, OSL announced a small surplus on its fiscal year 2013 budget and two months later, its annual Gift of Music gala raised a record $1.13 million. OSL has been invited to take part in high-profile artistic projects, such as the NY PHIL BIENNIAL-on which the orchestra performs two concerts May 31 and June 1, conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado-and has restructured and expanded its Community & Education programs in recent years. In 2011, OSL opened The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, a rehearsal and recording facility that has served more than 300 music organizations and 50,000 people.

Pablo Heras-Casado is OSL's fourth titled conductor, following the tenures of Sir Roger Norrington (1990-1994), Sir Charles Mackerras (1998-2001), and Donald Runnicles (2001-2007).