Orchestra conductor announces resignation

May 24, 1994|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,Special to the Sun

Arne Running, the conductor who has had a dramatic impact on the artistic fortunes of the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra,has resigned after two years in the post.

In a brief statement after the orchestra's season-ending concert Sunday at St. John's College, Mr. Running, 50, said that his priorities had changed in recent months and that personal matters dictate he spend more time in his home city of Philadelphia.

In a letter of resignation sent to the symphony orchestra board, Mr. Running explained that he needed to spend more time with Nancy Acker, a Philadelphia psychologist and violinist.

"This was a difficult decision," Mr. Running said to a large crowd in Key Auditorium.

"It is especially hard to leave this orchestra given the way it plays, especially at concerts. It is a very inspiring group," he said.

Maestro Running has worked exceptionally well with the young orchestra, which already was off to an auspicious start when its founding music director, Karen Deal, former Annapolis Symphony associate conductor, resigned to become the associate conductor of the Nashville (Tenn.) Symphony.

During Mr. Running's tenure, the symphony orchestra has grown in size and stature and has presented notably precocious performances of symphonies by Mendelssohn, Hanson and Beethoven under his baton.

Mr. Running's announcement came as a surprise to the board, which will meet within the week to begin considering replacements.

He will be a tough act to follow. "He's really gotten the most out of everyone," said Allyson Howard, first violinist in the orchestra.

"He gets so into the music himself it's hard not to get into it along with him. He has never talked down to us. He expects a lot, and he's treated us like real musicians," she said.

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