BSO's Hege gets post in Syracuse

Music: The symphony's nice guy will retain his job here while becoming music director for the Syracuse Symphony.

April 13, 1999|By Stephen Wigler | Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC

Evidence that good things sometimes happen to good people will arrive this evening when the Syracuse (N.Y.) Symphony names Daniel Hege as its sixth music director, effective at the beginning of next season.

The 33-year-old Hege, the Baltimore Symphony's associate music director, has been on the BSO's conducting staff since the beginning of the 1996-1997 season.

He has won the respect, admiration and affection of the orchestra's musicians for his intelligence, talent, musical integrity and personal decency -- a combination of qualities generally considered rare in any human being, rarer still in a conductor.

"This is a great opportunity, and I'm grateful for the Syracuse Symphony's support," Hege said yesterday. "I'm enthusiastic and optimistic."

"Dan was overwhelmingly approved by the symphony in a vote this evening," Syracuse Symphony executive director David Chambless Worter said yesterday. "The official announcement will be made after tomorrow afternoon's board meeting."

Hege will retain his position as the BSO's associate music director next season and will, for that time at least, remain a Baltimore resident. He'll also remain in his Baltimore position, in the words of one BSO administrator, "as long as we can keep him here."

The Syracuse Symphony, which was founded in 1961, is an important regional-sized orchestra with a budget of $4.4 million and a 38-week playing season.

It has hired several music directors who went on to achieve considerable distinction: Christopher Keene, Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Frederik Prausnitz and the outgoing Fabio Mechetti.

Shriver's bright future

If Sunday evening's concert by the Tokyo String Quartet concluded a fine season in Shriver Hall, the Shriver series' new brochure promises a spectacular one for 1999-2000.

The line-up includes cellist Lynn Harrell (Oct. 17); soprano Dawn Upshaw (Nov. 6); violinist Corey Cerovsek (Dec. 12); pianist Leif Ove Andsnes (Jan. 19); pianist Arnoldo Cohen (Feb. 13); guitarist Manuel Barrueco (March 12); the Shifrin-Finckel-Han trio (April 2); and the Takacs String Quartet (April 16).

Harrell, Upshaw, Barrueco and Andsnes are stars who need no introduction. Cohen is a Brazilian-born pianist, resident in London, whose name is just beginning to become known on this side of the North Atlantic. The late Yehudi Menuhin compared his Liszt playing to that of Vladimir Horowitz; Cohen's countryman, pianist Nelson Freire, compares his Beethoven playing to that of Rudolf Serkin; and Cohen's New York debut (at the 92nd Street Y) two seasons ago created a sensation.

Cerovsek is one of the finest violinists of his generation. The Takacs String Quartet is the latest link in the great tradition of Hungarian chamber-music playing. And clarinetist David Shifrin, cellist David Finckel and pianists Wu Han, all respected soloists, are among the stalwarts of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society.

For more information and subscriptions to all eight concerts in the Shriver Hall Concert Series, priced from $69 to $139, call 410-516-7164.

Pub Date: 4/13/99

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