Has baton, will travel Departure: While Edward Polochick will become conductor for the Lincoln (Neb.) Symphony Orchestra, he's leaving a foot in Baltimore.

May 30, 1998|By Sandra Crockett | Sandra Crockett,SUN STAFF

For more than 20 years, he has been a part of the Baltimore classical music scene. Now Edward Polochick is heading west. He's been named music director of the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra in Lincoln, Neb.

"I am thrilled about it," he says.

However, Polochick, 46, is not done with Baltimore yet. "Baltimore will remain my home," he says. "I have no plans to move."

Instead, he'll rack up a whole lot of frequent-flier miles as he continues to be artistic director of Concert Artists of Baltimore and remains on the conducting staff at the Peabody Conservatory.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for me to expand my musical horizons, while still continuing my heart's work in Baltimore. I am one of the luckiest people in the world. I get to do what I love to do the most. And I get paid for it. Not a lot, but I get paid for it," he says.

"We are very excited about the prospect of having Ed Polochick as our music director," says Jeth Mill, the executive director of the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra. "He brings energy and enthusiasm as well as a large degree of musicology. For us, he represents the complete package."

In his premiere season as music director, Polochick will conduct five concerts beginning in the fall. The Lincoln Symphony Orchestra has been around since 1927. Lincoln, the capital city, has a population of about 250,000.

One local post Polochick will give up is director of chorus with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, a job he has held for the past 20 years. "I will be there through this coming season," he says. "I will be phasing myself out at the end of next season.

"It's a very bittersweet event in my life," he says of the new appointment and of leaving his BSO position. "I've made strong bonds personally and professionally. And I have seen the symphony grow."

Polochick was a child piano prodigy who performed in Carnegie Hall at age 9. While a graduate student, he studied under pianist Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory. He received master of music degrees in both piano and conducting.

His guest conducting has included appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra of Denmark, the Omaha Symphony and the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra in Alabama.

Since 1979, Polochick has been on the conducting staff at the conservatory, where he is director of choral ensembles, associate conductor of the orchestra and opera conductor.

He founded the Concert Artists of Baltimore in 1987 and will continue to work as artistic director of the organization. All the more reason his Baltimore ties will remain strong.

"I've been here since 1976 and have become a real Baltimorean," he says. "I like to tell the story that I got so confused when I came here with all of the one-way streets, that I had to buy a house and settle down."

Pub Date: 5/30/98

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