Nashville Symphony Appoints New Music Director - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Nashville Symphony Appoints New Music Director

Kenneth Schermerhorn Kenneth Schermerhorn
Giancarlo Guerrero Giancarlo Guerrero
Mark Wait Mark Wait
Leonard Slatkin Leonard Slatkin

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Nashville Symphony Orchestra announced Thursday that it appointed a new music director to take over beginning with the 2009-10 season.

Giancarlo Guerrero, 38, music director of Oregon's Eugene Symphony, fills a vacancy left by the 2005 death of Schermerhorn. Schermerhorn led the symphony for 22 years.

Guerrero, a native of Costa Rica, was associate conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra. He was also guest conductor for the Cleveland Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, National Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

He was the first guest conductor after Schermerhorn's death. The 1,844-seat Schermerhorn Symphony Center, which opened last year, is named in memory of the longtime maestro.

"He thrilled the orchestra and the audiences with his energy and his passion and fierce intelligence," said Mark Wait, dean of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University.

"We were not looking just for the best conductor, we were also looking for the best conductor who also was the best match for this community," Wait said.

"The energy, dynamism, the variety, the scope of his repertoire is exactly what this community needs," said Leonard Slatkin, NSO's music adviser and current conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.

"It is a great honor to become the next music director of the Nashville Symphony," Guerrero said. "I look forward to wonderful music-making with the musicians of the orchestra in their terrific new hall and to continuing the orchestra's rich and long recording tradition. This is an exciting time in the orchestra's history and it is my privilege to accept the responsibility of leading this orchestra to new artistic heights."

He added that he and his look forward to "becoming a part of the Nashville community."

He will conduct the Nashville Symphony's concerts Thursday, Sept. 13 through Saturday, Sept. 15 and May 8-10, 2008.

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