Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview Opens 3/31, 4/1

On March 31 and April 1 at Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the Nashville Symphony will host the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, presented every two years by the League of American Orchestras. This highly anticipated two-day event - held in Nashville for the first time - is designed to bring talented conductors to the attention of American orchestra leaders.

Giancarlo Guerrero, the Nashville Symphony's incoming Music Director, performed as part of the 2001 Preview in Chicago.

"One of the greatest challenges for orchestras is finding the right artistic leadership," said Jesse Rosen, League President and CEO. "In drawing attention to conductors who are poised to assume this role, the League is supporting and sustaining the excellence of American orchestras."

The eight winners scheduled to perform at this year's Preview were chosen from a pool of 180 applicants by a panel of leading conductors, administrators and artist managers. They were selected for their experience, talent and potential to assume a greater leadership role with an American orchestra.

The experience of the Nashville Symphony's own Giancarlo Guerrero illustrates the program's value to the orchestra field. Prior to coming to Nashville, Guerrero was hired by the Eugene (Oregon) Symphony Orchestra as its music director after officials observed his work at the 2001 Preview. "The Conductor's Preview was truly a turning point in my career," Guerrero said. "It enabled me to show what I could do in front of people who were in a position to offer me a job as a conductor. To this day, I'm grateful for that opportunity."

Alan D. Valentine, President and CEO of the Nashville Symphony, said he first became aware of Giancarlo Guerrero thanks to that 2001 Preview. "We sent our artistic administrator to Chicago to attend the Preview, and he came back raving about this young conductor. It's especially fitting that we are hosting this Preview given that Giancarlo's relationship with the Nashville Symphony evolved from that early encounter." Valentine said his organization is thrilled to be involved this year. "We are proud to welcome such promising young musicians and a host of industry leaders to our orchestra and to our new concert hall. The League and its programs have certainly been a great resource for the Nashville Symphony through the years. This is a small way we can give back to the League for all they've done for us and for our entire industry."

This year's conductors are: Alondra de la Parra, Jeffrey Grogan, Laura Jackson, Kynan Johns, Carolyn Kuan, Ken Lam, Jonathan McPhee and Alexander Platt. (Please see biographies below).

Typically, the performances are attended only by a limited number of orchestra professionals. For media access, please contact the Nashville Symphony.

The Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview and Music Director Search Seminar are made possible by a generous grant by The Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation.

About the Preview in Nashville

On March 31 and April 1, the eight conductors will lead the Nashville Symphony before a select audience of music director search committee members, artistic administrators and artist managers from across the country. Each participant will have one hour of podium time, enabling orchestra officials and managers to witness rehearsal techniques and abilities. The League also facilitates meetings between the conductors and prospective employers.

History of the Program

Since 1995, 62 conductors have been showcased in The Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview; more than 50 orchestras have engaged these conductors for various appointments as a direct result of the Preview. In addition to Guerrero, past conductors have included Daniel Hege, music director, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra; Shizuo Kuwahara, artistic director and principal conductor, IPPO Philharmoniker in Tokyo; and Peter Rubardt, music director, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra.

Music Director Search Seminar

The League offers a Music Director Search Seminar in tandem with the Preview. The seminar assists music director search committees in assessing their artistic needs, developing a music director profile and job description, designing search strategies and timetables, and evaluating candidates' musical and leadership qualifications. The seminar also helps these groups strengthen consensus building and teamwork skills that successful search committees need. The 2009 Music Director Search Seminar will take place March 29-30 in Nashville and will be led by Renee Anthony Dee, Musician/Akron Symphony & Cleveland Pops Orchestra; Henry Fogel, Senior Advisor, League of American Orchestras; Giancarlo Guerrero, Music Director Designate, Nashville Symphony; Roger Saydack, four-time Chair, Music Director Search Committee, Eugene Symphony Orchestra; and Alan Valentine, President & CEO, Nashville Symphony.

The Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation

The Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation was formed in 1963 by Bruno Walter's daughter, Lotte W. Lindt, and several of his friends to perpetuate and honor the memory of Maestro Walter and to continue his lifelong interest in, and support of, musicians. Over the past 40 years the Foundation has established a scholarship program for conducting students at The Juilliard School in New York; provided cash awards to winners in the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions; and helped numerous arts-related institutions with operating support, including the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and the New York Philharmonic. For more information about the Foundation, please visit its website at brunowalter.org.

League of American Orchestras

The League of American Orchestras leads, encourages, supports and serves orchestras as they assure the vitality of the musical experience, strengthen their organizations, and deepen their connections with their public and their communities. Founded in 1942, the League serves member symphony, chamber, youth, and university orchestras of all sizes, and supports a network of thousands of administrators, board members, musicians, conductors, volunteers, and business partners. Visit americanorchestras.org to learn more.

Nashville Symphony

Founded in 1946, the GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has been a cultural ambassador for Middle Tennessee for more than 60 years, more recently expanding its reach nationally and internationally through concert tours, numerous recordings and widespread media coverage. Its leadership includes President and CEO Alan D. Valentine, Music Director Designate Giancarlo Guerrero and Music Advisor Leonard Slatkin. The Nashville Symphony has 83 full-time musicians who perform and present more than 140 concerts a year at Schermerhorn Symphony Center, downtown Nashville's world-class venue. In addition to a repertoire of classical, pops, jazz and Pied Piper children's performances, the Nashville Symphony provides music education opportunities throughout the year. For additional information, please visit nashvillesymphony.org.

Biographies of 2009 Bruno Walter Preview Conductors

Alondra de la Parra founded the New York-based Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. Among her recent engagements are concerts with the Houston and San Antonio symphony orchestras, appearances with the Singapore Sun Festival Orchestra where she collaborated with actor Geoffrey Rush, and leading the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas (POA) on a second tour to Mexico.

Jeffrey Grogan is Education and Community Engagement Conductor for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Greater Newark Youth Orchestra. His recent engagements include conducting the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, where he is a finalist for the position of Conductor and Music Director, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the American Festival for the Arts Orchestra, the Texas All-State Orchestra, and orchestras at Indiana University and Lamar University.

Laura Jackson has recently completed an appointment as the Assistant Conductor and American Conducting Fellow of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Jackson has performed frequently with orchestras across the United States and beyond. Her 2008/09 season began with a concert in Manila, Philippines, followed by concerts in Phoenix, North Carolina, Boca Raton, South Carolina and Modesto. In addition, she will lead the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and the Reno Philharmonic as a finalist for the position of Music Director.

Kynan Johns is resident conductor to Music Director Lorin Maazel and Maestro Zubin Mehta at the new Palau de les Arts "Reina Sofia" in Valencia, Spain. Upcoming engagements include the Asturias Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, operatic engagements in Valencia, as well as concerts at Rutgers University in New Jersey, where he serves as Director of Orchestras.

Carolyn Kuan is currently Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Past associations include Artist-in-Residence at the New York City Ballet and Assistant Conductor for both the North Carolina Symphony and the Baltimore Opera Company. Upcoming concerts include performances with the International Opera Theater, Mexico City Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, Toledo Symphony, San Francisco Symphony and completion of more than 35 concerts with the Seattle Symphony through the 2008/09 season.

Ken Lam is Assistant Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra. He made his professional debut with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in June 2008. Other recent conducting highlights include serving as Assistant/Cover Conductor to Lorin Maazel in two opera productions of the Chateauville Foundation (Britten's The Rape of Lucretia and Albert Herring) and to Gunther Herbig (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra). He will spend the summer of 2009 at the Brevard Music Festival as the festival's assistant conductor.

Jonathan McPhee is Music Director for Boston Ballet, the Nashua Symphony & Chorus in New Hampshire, the Lexington Symphony, and the Longwood Symphony Orchestra (The Orchestra of Boston's Medical Community). Recent guest engagements include the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Plymouth Philharmonic, Youngstown Symphony, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife in Spain, and the Lithuanian National Orchestra.

Alexander Platt is currently Music Director of both the Waukesha Symphony and the Marion Indiana Philharmonic. He is also in his second season as Principal Conductor of the Boca Raton Symphonia. He spends summers as Music Director of The Maverick Concerts in Woodstock, New York.

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