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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Contributing writer | June 5, 1991
Gisele Ben-Dor, resident conductor of the Houston Symphony, has beenselected as the new music director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra.A native of Uruguay whose parents emigrated to Israel when shewas a teen-ager, Ben-Dor is also the conductor of Boston's Pro Arte Orchestra, a 40-member ensemble that performs an annual four-concert season at Harvard University.She has signed a multiyear contract with the Annapolis Symphony.Of the six finalists for the position, Ben-Dor, a graduate of the Yale School of Music, is the most established internationally.
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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 7, 2000
The musical careers of Gisele Ben-Dor and Leslie Dunner continue to dovetail in interesting ways. It was the charismatic Dunner who was hired to replace Ben-Dor after she ended her six-year tenure as conductor of the Annapolis Symphony in 1997 and went on to assume the directorship of the Santa Barbara Symphony. Both Ben-Dor and Dunner have been named "Cover Conductors" by the New York Philharmonic, which means they have been deemed talented enough to lead that venerable ensemble at a moment's notice should a previously scheduled maestro be unable to appear.
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FEATURES
By Ernest F. Imhoff and Ernest F. Imhoff,Evening Sun Staff | June 5, 1991
The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra has hired as its new music director Giselle Ben-Dor, the resident conductor of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, a native of Uruguay, citizen of Israel and American resident since 1980.Ben-Dor got a "very strong" favorable evaluation by the 85 symphony members after being a guest conductor Feb. 9-10, said Pat Edwards, executive director. Four other candidates were Karen Deal, resident conductor; Randall Fleischer, Gary Schneider and Christopher Kendall. A sixth, David Miller, was recently chosen to head the Albany Orchestra.
NEWS
By David Lindauer and David Lindauer,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 24, 1997
Gisele Ben-Dor said farewell in her own style to the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra Saturday night with a diverse and well-executed program.The highlight of the program was Antonin Dvorak's great cello concerto with soloist Ronald Thomas.This dramatic work began with very brisk tempos, and it was clear from the outset that Ben-Dor took a direct, no-nonsense approach to the music. With his initial entry, Thomas coaxed a sweet, singing tone from his instrument. As the work progressed, I was continually impressed by the beauty of his playing.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Contributing Writer | December 22, 1993
Gisele Ben-Dor, conductor of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra for the last three seasons, has been named a finalist by two other orchestras searching for music directors.Ms. Ben-Dor, 38, is one of nine finalists named by the Santa Barbara Symphony and one of five candidates vying for the leadership of the Dayton Philharmonic."They have good taste," says Patricia Edwards, manager of the Annapolis Symphony. "We're cheering her on, but we just hope she'll have time for us."Ms. Ben-Dor is on a year-to-year contract with the ASO and must give the local orchestra a full season's notice before leaving.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Special to The Sun | March 11, 1994
Two of the most positive aspects of Gisele Ben-Dor's tenure with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra have been her affinity for 20th-century music and her skill as an accompanist in the concerto repertoire.Expectations were high, then, for last weekend's ASO concert program, which played to Ms. Ben-Dor's strengths: "Diversions for Orchestra" by Irving Fine (1914-1962), Stravinsky's "Petrouchka" and the sumptuous Third Piano Concerto of Rachmaninoff.Her soloist in the Rachmaninoff was Tzimon Barto, the Juilliard-trained, body-building Floridian who is well on his way to a major international career.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 26, 1996
Gisele Ben-Dor begins her sixth and final season at the helm of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra in the fall, and the repertoire and soloists she has chosen will provide her an opportunity to go out with the proverbial bang.Each of the five subscription programs places the ASO in the center of the mainstream repertoire with blockbuster masterworks lurking around every bend in the symphonic road.On Oct. 4 and 5, Stanley Drucker, the principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic who has made more than 100 solo New York performances in his illustrious career, will appear.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Contributing writer | September 3, 1991
Labor Day concerts by the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra have proven to be a lovely way to end the summer in years past, and the 1991 installment proved no exception.Sunday afternoon's concert in Down's Park in Pasadena was attended by hundreds of enthusiastic music loverswho enjoyed both the orchestra and the room service weather. The program was repeated yesterday at Quiet Waters park in Annapolis.These concerts also provided the ASO a chance to introduce its new music director, Gisele Ben-Dor, to its Anne Arundel County audience.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Contributing writer | June 14, 1991
With the hiring of Gisele Ben-Dor as the new conductor of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, the ASO's 1991-1992 concert season has been thrown into a state of flux.The orchestra's search committee knew that hiring a conductor in June for a concert season beginning just four months later could create logistical problems.With Ben-Dor, the ASO has engaged a conductor on the move, metaphorically and physically. She has obligations with the Houston Symphony, where she serves as resident conductor, and with Boston's Pro ArteOrchestra, which she will begin conducting this fall.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Contributing writer | August 16, 1991
The joys of concerts al fresco are well known to classical music lovers nationwide.Many of the great American orchestras retire to summer musical festivals and proceed to mix art with nature, to the delight of many listeners who prefer lawn chairs and shirt sleeves to the formality of a concert hall.Thanks to Joseph McCann, county recreation and parks director, County Executive Robert R. Neall, and County Council members Maureen Lamb and "Dutch" Holland, music-lovers will have the opportunity to getin on the musical summer fun.At Downs Park in Pasadena on Sunday, Sept.
NEWS
By David Lindauer and David Lindauer,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 17, 1997
A notable era in the life of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra is about to end. Concerts tomorrow and Saturday in Maryland Hall will mark the end of Gisele Ben-Dor's six-season tenure as music director.When she joined the orchestra as its music director in the 1991-1992 season, she discovered that the orchestra had great potential and set about upgrading its standards. She also sought to introduce Annapolis to new sounds, playing works unfamiliar to local audiences.The innovative repertoire that Ben-Dor brought to Annapolis departed from the standard masterpieces of the Romantic era ** and gave her listeners a new awareness of music of the 20th century and, in particular, of American composers.
NEWS
By Mary P. Johnson and Mary P. Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 17, 1997
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.
NEWS
October 14, 1996
THE LONG GOODBYE began this month with Debussy and Rossini. In April, when Gisele Ben-Dor conducts her last Annapolis Symphony concert, she will depart with the strains of Bela Bartok and Dvorak.Mrs. Ben-Dor's six seasons in Maryland's capital have solidified the reputation of its symphony. The quality of soloists has risen dramatically. So have the technical level and discipline of the orchestra. Mrs. Ben-Dor's abilities have not gone unnoticed. Among the reasons she is leaving Annapolis are her commitments elsewhere: Santa Barbara (Calif.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 26, 1996
Gisele Ben-Dor begins her sixth and final season at the helm of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra in the fall, and the repertoire and soloists she has chosen will provide her an opportunity to go out with the proverbial bang.Each of the five subscription programs places the ASO in the center of the mainstream repertoire with blockbuster masterworks lurking around every bend in the symphonic road.On Oct. 4 and 5, Stanley Drucker, the principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic who has made more than 100 solo New York performances in his illustrious career, will appear.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 21, 1996
Gisele Ben-Dor, conductor of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra for the past five years, will step down at the close of the 1996-1997 season.Pointing to an overwhelming increase in her professional responsibilities and a wish to spend more time with her husband and two sons, she expressed her regret at not being able to continue with the orchestra."
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | February 9, 1996
From the looks of him, Tzimon Barto is the only pianist in the world who can play the No. 1 Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto, then bench-press the Steinway when he is finished.The enormous bodybuilder-pianist who was in town last weekend to play Tchaikovsky's top warhorse with conductor Gisele Ben-Dor and the Annapolis Symphony probably never will be confused with Alfred Brendel or Charles Rosen as a patrician intellectual of the keyboard.Mr. Barto's playing is too much of the moment for all that.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Contributing writer | February 8, 1991
It's only the beginning of February, and it's already been quite a year for conductor Gisele Ben-Dor.In early January, she made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New Chamber Orchestra of New York, an ensemble of distinguished free-lancers, in a concert featuring works from several Italian operas.Just 10 days ago came news of her appointment at Boston's Pro Arte Orchestra, a 40-member group that performs an annual four-concert season at Harvard University's Sanders Theater."Imagine my surprise when I realized they were hiring a Yalie like me for the Harvard concerts," laughs the conductor, who will be on the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra's podium this weekend as the season's third contestant for the directorship of the ASO. She will be conducting works by Verdi, Beethoven and Brahms.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Staff writer | October 8, 1991
The Ben-Dor era in Annapolis Symphony Orchestra history began this past weekend with a pair of concerts at Maryland Hall.On hand to usher in Gisele Ben-Dor's tenure as conductor of the local orchestra was violinist Herbert Greenberg, concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, who served as soloist in the D major concerto of Johannes Brahms.Felix Mendelssohn's "Reformation" Symphony, so named for its final movement which celebrates Martin Luther's hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," and Glinka's peppy overture to "Ruslan and Lyudmila" rounded out the program.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 23, 1995
Of the scores of Annapolis Symphony concerts I've attended, none has been weirder than the one given at Maryland Hall on Saturday evening.The program was designed to show off the diverse talents of one of the ASO's favorite guests, Ruben Gonzalez, the distinguished co-concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony.Not only was Mr. Gonzalez to solo in the Beethoven Violin Concerto with Gisele Ben-Dor and her players, he also was to ascend the podium to conduct excerpts from one of his own compositions.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Special to The Sun | August 18, 1995
Poised to begin her fifth season at the helm of the Annapolis Symphony, Gisele Ben-Dor continues her ascent through the ranks of American and European orchestras.In December 1993, the talented Israeli made her debut with the New York Philharmonic, filling in at the last minute for an ailing Kurt Masur in a concert that included the Brahms Violin Concerto with superstar fiddler Anne-Sophie Mutter.Last June, Ms. Ben-Dor's career went bicoastal as she became music director of the Santa Barbara Symphony, the first woman to be so named in the 41-year history of the California ensemble.
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