PNC Official Sponsor of ASO Music Director Search for Second Year

ASO Music Director SearchThe Alabama Symphony Orchestra (ASO) announced that PNC has once again joined the leading performing arts organization in sponsoring the search process for its next music director, a position formerly held by the acclaimed Justin Brown who now serves as music director laureate.

“We are looking for someone who is right for the orchestra artistically, who is enthusiastic about spending a substantial amount of time in and building relationships in our community, and who is going to help bring the organization together around a shared vision for the future,” said Search Committee Chair Jon Blankenship, Ph.D. of Blankenship & Seay Consulting Group in Birmingham.  “We are especially appreciative of PNC’s continued support for this important effort and look forward to reaching a successful conclusion to our search.” 

“We are very pleased to once again partner with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and continue our support for the Music Director Search,” said Brian Bucher, PNC Regional President. “PNC’s long history of investing in arts and culture stems from our belief that arts and business and economic development are integral to each other. The Music Director Search is a great example of this collaboration, and we look forward to the permanent conductor’s success on behalf of both the ASO and the performing arts in Birmingham.”

Eight conductors will join the ASO in guest appearances this season with many of those returning for a repeat visit. Conductors from Chile, Germany, Venezuela, Norway, New York, and other major classical music hubs will lead the ASO for two-night performances beginning in September as part of the Masterworks Series and other more intimate performances.  Guests will conduct works ranging from traditional audience favorites including Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 to more modern works such as Price’s Dances in the Canebrakes and Mazzoli’s Holy Roller. Two guest conductors will have the opportunity to lead the ASO in the world premieres of a new work.

“If variety is the spice of life, our musicians and audiences have had chance to sample a whole lot of different musical flavors over the past couple of seasons.  The search process has given us a unique opportunity to broaden our musical horizons, to try different approaches to rehearsing and performing,” said ASO President Curt Long.  “The search process has brought us a whole lot of very satisfying concerts, and I have every expectation that this will continue given the lineup of great music and artists featured on our 2014-15 Masterworks season.  At the same time, it has been great to continue to see Justin Brown for several weeks a season and, during this transitional period, the behind the scenes work of long-time Resident Conductor Chris Confessore has been critical to the continued smooth operations of the ASO.”

Guest conductors will be introduced to Birmingham throughout the search process and will have the opportunity to interact with ASO patrons before each Masterworks concert during the ASO’s Concert Comments program. While in town each conductor will meet with a committee comprised of six members of the ASO Board of Directors and four members of the orchestra to share ideas about the organization’s mission to ‘change lives through music.’ The ASO’s 2014-2015 season runs through June.

About the ASO
The Alabama Symphony Orchestra has entertained audiences for more than 90 years, playing a variety of classical and popular music and hosting performances by some of the finest guest artists in the world. The 54 talented musicians of the ASO bring to life some of the world’s most treasured musical masterpieces and introduce listeners to exciting new works and composers, performing concerts for 100,000 persons annually. For a full schedule of performances, visit

About PNC
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. ( is one of the United States’ largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management.

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