OSO to host third conductor finalist

Messenger-Inquirer – Feb. 9

by Bobbi Hayse

The Owensboro Symphony Orchestra will be introducing its third conductor finalist next week, who will be attending various community engagement opportunities, rehearsals and educational events before conducting “Russian Romance,” the symphony’s fourth concert of the season, on Feb. 18.

Finalist Bruce Kiesling is the director and conductor of the Tulare County Symphony in Visali, California, and the Adrian Symphony in Adrian, Maine. He received his Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in film composition from the University of North Carolina and a master’s degree in conducting from the University of Michigan School of Music. He earned a doctorate in orchestral conducting from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami.

The orchestra’s 2016-17 season has been a journey for the organization as they search for a new conductor. Throughout the search process, the orchestra has welcomed the community to become part of the selection process. Part of that is meeting the finalists and participating in surveys after the concerts.

Dan Griffith, the symphony’s CEO, said that because the symphony is the community’s orchestra, it’s vital that the community is involved in one of the most important decisions that an orchestra’s stakeholders can make.

Whomever is chosen to be the next conductor and music director “has to be one that will respond to the community,” he said.

He said the community is “in for a real treat” on Feb. 18 as Kiesling “has programmed an evening everyone will enjoy.”

The community is also invited to attend “Coffee with the Conductor” at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Symphony Academy, 211 E. Second St., during which Chad Benefield, WBKR host, will be engaging Kiesling in a question-and-answer session.

During the event, sandwiches will be provided by Specialty Foods Group Inc, and coffee will be provided by Starbucks on Frederica Street.

Another opportunity for the community to hear from Kiesling will be during High Notes, a preconcert conversation that will be led by the finalist. The event will provide audiences with an overview of the evening’s performance. It will be at 6:15 p.m. Saturday at the RiverPark Center, in Holbrook Balcony, and is free for ticketholders of the performance.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315, Twitter: @BobbieHayseMI