Princeton Symphony Orchestra Extends Music Director Rossen Milanov's Contract Through 2022
Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) announced the extension of Rossen Milanov's contract as Music Director for another five years. Mr. Milanov signed the agreement over the weekend, and PSO Executive Director Marc Uys shared the news with patrons at the outset of the orchestra's concert Sunday afternoon at Richardson Auditorium.
"Rossen Milanov has focused the Princeton Symphony Orchestra into a first-rate ensemble with a distinctive sound," Mr. Uys said. "There is an emotional depth to his musicianship that fosters a close bond between musicians and audience members. With this commitment to the future, Princeton can look forward to exciting years ahead with programming that will impact our entire community. Under his leadership, orchestral music is very much alive!"
Mr. Milanov is the orchestra's third music director since its founding by Portia Sonnenfeld in 1980. His original contract in 2009 was for three years and was later extended to 2017. The current agreement runs through the 2021-2022 season with the possibility of future extension.
His work in Princeton has earned widespread praise. David Patrick Stearns of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, "Playing well is one thing, but the orchestra now has an immediately noticeable collective personality." In 2014, Mr. Milanov was included among the 100 Most Influential People in New Jersey by the Newark Star-Ledger's Inside Jersey guide. And, The New York Times commented, "Cohesion-the ability to connect two disparate parts-has been a motif of sorts for Rossen Milanov's tenure at the Princeton Symphony Orchestra."
Mr. Milanov is passionate about attracting new audience members and cultivating interest in orchestral music through pops concerts, lectures, and the orchestra's extensive PSO BRAVO! education program which includes small ensemble visits to schools, masterclasses and workshops, an art response program, instrument "petting zoos," and school-day concerts hosted by him at Richardson Auditorium.
"I am thrilled to deepen my relationship with the PSO," said Mr. Milanov. "I admire the vitality of the organization and its role in this exceptional community! Princeton is a special place, and I am very honored to be part of its cultural fabric."
During the PSO's current 35th Anniversary Season, his programming highlights the creativity of women at the forefront of today's orchestral music scene with compositions by Anna Clyne and Jing Jing Luo, and co-commissioned works by Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw and Sarah Kirkland Snider. Soprano Dawn Upshaw will grace the PSO stage in January. Sunday's concert included Cliburn Competition silver-medalist Joyce Yang's performance of Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony, and the late Princeton composer and professor Edward T. Cone's Symphony.
Mr. Milanov came to the PSO in 2009 from The Philadelphia Orchestra where he held the positions of Associate Conductor and Artistic Director of The Philadelphia Orchestra at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts. He is currently the Music Director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and recently completed his first season with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra to enthusiastic acclaim. He continues to serve as the Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias (OSPA) in Spain. In 2015 he completed a 15-year tenure as Music Director of the nationally recognized training orchestra Symphony in C in New Jersey.
Whether performing classical masterworks, introducing music by modern-day masters, or hosting students at their first live symphony performance, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is a cultural centerpiece of the Princeton community and one of New Jersey's finest music organizations. Led by Music Director Rossen Milanov, the PSO offers orchestral, pops, and chamber music programs of the highest quality, as well as lectures and other events to complement these concerts. Through PSO BRAVO!, the orchestra produces wide-reaching and innovative education programs, carried out in partnerships with local schools and arts organizations. With considerable community support and funding for excellence from the National Endowment for the Arts, the PSO is also a multiple-year recipient of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts' highest honors. In addition, the PSO has been recognized for its commitment to new music with an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and a Copland Fund Award. The only independent, professional orchestra to make its home in Princeton, the PSO performs at historic Richardson Auditorium on the campus of Princeton University.