Conductor search down to 4 finalists Replacement: Choosing from 300 applicants, the Annapolis Symphony search committee has narrowed the field to a quartet of candidates to succeed Gisele Ben-Dor.

April 17, 1997|By Mary P. Johnson | Mary P. Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A professor who has taught conducting at the Eastman School of Music for the past 20 years and a 28-year-old rising star are among the four finalists to replace Gisele Ben-Dor as music director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra.

The finalists, who were chosen from 300 applicants, also include the assistant conductors of the Detroit and Cleveland symphony orchestras, Pat Edwards, chairwoman of the search committee, zTC said yesterday. Each will conduct a concert during the ASO's 1997-1998 season before the orchestra's board of directors makes a decision, she said.

David Effron, 58, is head of the Eastman Philharmonia, the student orchestra at Eastman in Rochester, N.Y., where he has taught for 20 years. Effron also is head of the Brevard Music Festival in Brevard, N.C.

Miguel Harth-Bedoya is the rising star. The 28-year-old recently was named music director of the Eugene (Ore.) Symphony, an organization Edwards described as "a million-dollar orchestra."

The other candidates are Steven Smith, the assistant conductor of the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra who recently was named assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, and Leslie Dunner, who has been the assistant conductor of the Detroit Symphony for 10 years and is music director of a symphony in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

While all the candidates are talented conductors, working the podium is only part of the job, according to Jane Schorsch, executive director of the orchestra. The music director selects the programs and must know the orchestral repertoire intimately as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the orchestra.

The music director also should be able to spend time in the community, building the orchestra and attracting an audience, Schorsch said. And it wouldn't hurt if the director understands the orchestra's budgetary constraints, she added.

Pub Date: 4/17/97

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