Music Director Search presented by PNC Bank



Beginning in the 2011-2012 Season, the ASO will be led by esteemed guest conductors from all over the world. One of these guest conductors could become the new Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Below, you will see more information about each conductor and their visit to Birmingham.



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2013-2014 Season

Maximiano Valdes, Guest Conductor October 4 & 5, 2013
In February 2008, Chilean conductor Maximiano Valdés was named Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Puerto Rico Symphony. Mr. Valdés recently ended a 16 year tenure as Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias in Spain and was named the orchestra's Conductor Laureate. He is a former Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic and served as Chief Conductor of both the orchestra and opera at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile, where he returns annually for both symphonic and opera performances. In March 2010, Mr. Valdés also accepted the position of Artistic Director of the famed Festival Casals in San Juan. His program with the ASO includes works from Messiaen, Chopin and Sibelius.
Official website | ASO Concert Link



Sarah Hicks, Guest Conductor January 10 & 11, 2014
Sarah Hicks's versatile and vibrant musicianship has secured her place in "the next generation of up-and-coming American conductors." In October of 2009 she was named Principal Conductor, Pops and Presentations of the Minnesota Orchestra. There, she will be instrumental in creating new Pops productions while also heading the innovative classical series, "Inside the Classics" with which she recently completed a Microcommission Project with composer Judd Greenstein. Throughout her career she has collaborated with diverse artists, from Jaime Laredo and Hilary Hahn to Ben Folds and Smokey Robinson. Last summer she was on a two-month tour with Sting as conductor of the final leg of his Symphonicities Tour. In June of 2012 she conducts the opening concert of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, and program featuring Dmitri Hvrostovsky, Sumi Jo and Jackie Evancho. She leads the ASO and guests Quattro Mani in a program of Poulenc, Franck and Jennifer Higdon.
Official website | ASO Concert Link



Robert Treviño, Guest Conductor April 4 & 5, 2014
Since his professional debut in 2003 at the age of 20, Robert Treviño has become an emerging force on the international music scene. The 2012/2013 season marked his second season as Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Further engagements last season included debuts with the China Philharmonic, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra de Cámarade Bellas Artes, California Symphony Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, re-engagements with the Bolshoi Theatre, Slee Sinfonietta, and Cincinnati Symphony. Maestro Treviño ended his season with a residency at the Shippensburg Music Festival as principal conductor. He will be conducting the ASO and guests Jennifer Koh and Jaime Laredo in Bach's Concerto for Two Violins.
Official Website | ASO Concert Link



Jose Luis Gomez, Guest Conductor April 25 & 26, 2014
The young Venezuelan-born, Spanish conductor José Luis Gomez was catapulted to international attention when he won First Prize at the International Sir Georg Solti Conductor's Competition in Frankfurt in September 2010, securing a sensational and rare unanimous decision from the jury. Gomez's electrifying energy, talent and creativity earned him immediate acclaim from the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra where he was appointed to the position of Assistant Conductor, a post created especially for him by Paavo Jarvi and the orchestra directly upon the conclusion of the competition. Mr. Gomez has worked with the RTVE National Symphony Orchestra of Madrid, Houston Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa, Hamburg Symphony, Basel Sinfonietta, Orchestra of Castille y Leon, Orquesta Sinfonica do Porto, Grand Rapids Symphony, Macao Symphony and the Orchestra 1813 Teatro Sociale di Como with whom he also led performances of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. He joins the ASO for a performance of Brahms' Violin Concerto with violinist Stefan Jackiw.
Official Website | ASO Concert Link





2012-2013 Season

Andrew Grams, Guest Conductor September 14-15, 2012
Mr. Grams has appeared with many of the world's greatest orchestras, including Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis and Detroit. He served as assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra from 2004-2007, making his subscription debut in May 2006. A Maryland native, Grams began conducting at age 17. Also an accomplished violinist, he was a member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra at Lincoln Center from 1998 to 2004.
Official Website | Review from al.com



Stefan Sanderling, Guest Conductor October 5-6, 2012
Mr. Sanderling has emerged as one of the leading German conductors of his generation. Since 2003, he has been music director of the Florida Orchestra and principal conductor and artistic advisor of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. In 2007, he was appointed music director of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. The son of legendary German conductor Kurt Sanderling, he has led prestigious North American and international orchestras and recorded with the London Symphony, among others.
Official Website | Review from al.com



Tito Muñoz, Guest Conductor October 26-27, 2012
Lauded for his "natural facility and convincing musicianship on the podium," Mr. Muñoz was recently appointed Music Director of the Opera National de Lorraine and the Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy in France. Born in 1983 in New York City, he previously served as assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony.
Official Website | Review from al.com



Julian Kuerti, Guest Conductor November 30-December 1, 2012
Canadian conductor Julian Kuerti has made a name for himself with his confident style, artistic integrity and passion for musical collaborations. He has led numerous orchestras across North America, including the Boston, Houston, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Seattle, Montreal and Toronto Symphonies and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A former assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony, he is the son of famed pianist Anton Kuerti.
Official Website | Review from al.com



Courtney Lewis, Guest Conductor January 4-5, 2013
Born in Belfast, Mr. Lewis is the associate conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, where he regularly conducts Young People's concerts and other performances. He made his subscription debut in the 2011-12 season. Appointed a Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2011, he has performed with them several times.
Official Website | Review from al.com



Rossen Milanov, Guest Conductor February 1-2, 2013
Mr. Milanov, music director of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, recently completed an eleven-year tenure as associate conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra and artistic director of the Philadelphia at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. Mr. Milanov has collaborated with some of the world's most prestigious soloists, including Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, Midori, Itzhak Perlman and Andre Watts.
Official Website | Review from al.com



Eric Jacobsen, Guest Conductor March 28, 2013
Mr. Jacobsen is a quickly rising star in the classical world, thanks to his multifaceted work as a conductor, cellist and arranger. He acts as Music Director for The Knights, a chamber group dedicated to bringing the intimacy and intensity of chamber music to the orchestral stage. He is also a founding member of the string quartet Brooklyn Rider and a contributer to (and collaborator with) Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project.
Official Website | ASO Visit Details



Alasdair Neale, Guest Conductor April 5-6, 2013
Mr. Neale is music director of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and the Marin Symphony, and is principal guest conductor of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He maintains an active conducting schedule, including engagements with the New York Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. In his 17 years with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Neale has propelled the festival to national status: it is now the largest privately funded free admission symphony in America.
Official Website | Review from al.com



Cristian Macelaru, Guest Conductor April 12, 2013
Mr. Macelaru began his work with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the 2010-2011 season, and was voted into the role of Assistant Conductor shortly afterwards. Recently, he received the 2012 Sir George Solti Emerging Conductor Award. He has performed with the Chicago, Baltimore and Houston Symphonies among many others to great acclaim and anticipates his international engagements to begin in 2012. He is a strong proponent of music education.
Official Website | ASO Visit Details



James Judd, Guest Conductor April 26-27, 2013
British-born James Judd has amassed an extensive collection of recordings on the Naxos label, frequently with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra where he is music director emeritus. His previous directorships include principal guest conductor of the Orchestre National de Lille in France and a groundbreaking 14 years as music director of the Florida Philharmonic. Mr. Judd has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic and in the great halls of Europe including the Saltzburg Mozarteum and Vienna's Musikverein.
Official Website | Review from al.com



Edwin Outwater, Guest Conductor May 10-11, 2013
Mr. Outwater is music director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in Ontario, Canada. Now in his fifth season, he has revitalized the orchestra and gained international attention for his innovative projects and brilliant performances. Recently the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony released a recording called From Here On Out, featuring the music of Nico Muhly, Jonny Greenwood and Richard Reed Parry. Mr. Outwater has conducted the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics as well as the symphony orchestras of Chicago, San Francisco, Baltimore, Houston, Detroit and Seattle.
Official Website | Review from al.com



Daniel Meyer, Guest Conductor May 31-June 1, 2013
As music director of the Asheville Symphony and Erie Philharmonic, Mr. Meyer has reinvigorated both orchestras with innovative programs and a dedication to sustain enthusiastic audiences for classical music. A former resident conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony, his guest conducting engagements have included the Grand Teton Music Festival and the Rochester Philharmonic, the Knoxville and Hilton Head Symphony Orchestras and at the Westmoreland Symphony where he serves as artistic director.
Official Website | Review from al.com






2011-2012 Season

Evan Rogister, Guest Conductor September 30, 2011-October 1, 2011
Mr. Rogister is a dual citizen of Germany and the U.S., with a strong interest in operatic conducting. He recently finished a two-year stint as Kapellmeister at the Deutsche Oper Berlin to great acclaim. His program with the ASO included Copland's Appalachian Spring Suite, Meyer's Violin Concerto with soloist Hilary Hahn and Mozart's Jupiter Symphony.
Official website | Review from The Birmingham News



Case Scaglione, Guest Conductor October 14-15, 2011
Mr. Scaglione is currently the Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, wehre he assists music director Alan Gilbert. In 2011, he was named the Solti Fellow by the Solti Foundation U.S., a prestigious honor awarded only three times in the Foundation's history. His program with the ASO included Respighi's Ancient Dances and Airs, Verdi's Eight Romances for Tenor and Orchestra and Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony.
Official website | Review from The Birmingham News



Danail Rachev, Guest Conductor January 6-7, 2012
Mr. Rachev was born in Shumen, Bulgaria where he trained at the State Musical Academy in Sofia before graduating from the Peabody Conservatory in 2001. Since 2009 he has been Music Director of the Eugene Symphony Orchestra and he continues to guest conduct across the world, including in his native country. His program with the ASO included Rihm's Three Waltzes, Schubert's Symphony No. 6 and Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 with soloist Garrick Ohlsson.
Official Website | Review from The Birmingham News



Rory Macdonald, Guest Conductor March 30-31, 2012
Scottish-born Mr. Macdonald is one of the most in-demand guest conductors in Britain. He has an extensive operatic repertoire and has led performances at opera houses across North America and Europe. He recently served as Assistant Conductor for the Halle Orchestra. His performance with the ASO included Delius' The Walk to the Paradise Garden, Elgar's Cello Concerto with soloist Johannes Moser, Clyne's Within Her Arms and Haydn's Symphony No. 104, London.
Official Website | Review from The Birmingham News