Edward Cumming named Interim Director of Orchestral Activities for The Hartt School

The Hartt School of the University of Hartford is pleased to announce that Edward Cumming, Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, has been named Interim Director of Orchestral Activities for The Hartt School for the 2010-2011 academic year. Now in his eighth season with the HSO, for the 2010-2011 season he will hold the two positions concurrently.

"All of us at the Hartt School are delighted that Edward will be with us next year," said Steve Metcalf, Hartt's Director of Instrumental Studies. "I know our students will benefit greatly from his knowledge and experience, as well as his imaginative programming ideas."

Mr. Cumming succeeds Maestro Christopher Zimmerman, who leaves Hartt this month after eleven years to devote himself full-time to his position as Music Director of the Fairfax (VA) Symphony Orchestra.

Cumming said of this opportunity, "When I conducted the Hartt Orchestra in the school's annual concerto concert this past February, I was impressed with the prodigious gifts these young musicians bring to the table. I am honored and privileged to have this opportunity to make music with them on a regular basis."?

A formal search for the fulltime orchestral director will begin shortly, with the winning candidate expected to be named early in 2011.

About Edward Cumming: Edward Cumming is in his eighth season as Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, hailed for its remarkable artistic growth during his tenure.

Before coming to Hartford, Cumming was Resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony, where he stepped in for an ailing Mariss Jansons to conduct a program including Mahler's Kindertotenlieder and Debussy's Jeux, of which the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote, "some conductors could not do as well even with months to prepare." During his time in Pittsburgh, he was Music Director of the nationally-acclaimEd Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, which was one of five orchestras invited to the biennial National Youth Orchestra Festival in 1998 and 2002.

World premieres in Hartford include Valerie Coleman's The Painted Lady, Richard Cumming's Aspects of Hippolytus, Michael Gatonska's Wandering the Moon Nursery, and Stephen Michael Gryc's Passagi (Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra), with Joe Alessi as soloist. In 2003 and 2006, the League of American Orchestras awarded Mr. Cumming and the HSO the ASCAP award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music.

As Resident Conductor of the Florida Orchestra from 1989 to 1993, Cumming conducted a recording of the "Star Spangled Banner" with Whitney Houston and the Florida Orchestra for Super Bowl XXV. After filling in as guest conductor in 1996, he was appointed Artistic Director of the Flagstaff Festival of the Arts the following summer.

In Europe, Mr. Cumming has led La Orquesta Ciudad de Granada (Spain), the South Bohemian State Orchestra in the Czech Republic, the BBC Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and most recently, the Sinfonica di Roma. In the United States, he has conducted the Philharmonic orchestras of Los Angeles, Rochester, and Buffalo, as well the San Diego, Oregon, San Antonio, Santa Barbara, and Detroit symphony orchestras. In Asia, he has conducted the Singapore Symphony, and most recently made his Israeli debut with the Be'er Sheva Sinfonietta.

Mr. Cumming studied with Otto-Werner Mueller at Yale University, where he received a Doctorate in Music in 1992. As an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley, he was awarded the prestigious Eisner Prize for Creative Achievement in the Arts.

The Hartt School is the comprehensive performing arts conservatory of the University of Hartford that offers innovative degree programs in music, dance, and theatre. With more than 400 concerts, recitals, plays, master classes, dance performances, and musical theatre productions a year, performance is central to Hartt's curriculum. For more information on The Hartt School, visit www.hartford.edu/hartt.

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