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Grand Rapids Symphony names new Music Director

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The Grand Rapids Symphony has passed the baton naming its 14th music director in its 86-year history.

WGVU was at DeVos Performance Hall for the announcement.

“I’m honored to be the next Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony.”

Marcelo Lehninger comes to Grand Rapids by way of the New West Symphony Orchestra in Los Angeles.

“When I came here both times that I conducted the orchestra I felt wonderful chemistry with the musicians.

A chemistry spilling over to the Grand Rapids Symphony Board of Directors and search committee who, after interviewing 14 candidates over three and a half years made Lehninger their unanimous choice to make all artistic decisions on and off the podium.

“Quite honestly I’m on cloud nine today.”

Mary Tuuk co-chaired the Search Committee. During the introduction inside the DeVos Performance Hall lobby she read comments about the 36-year old Brazilian conductor.

“Simply among the very best two or three conductors I’ve ever worked with…His conducting is in a class apart from any of our other candidates. I would wholeheartedly support ending the search now in hiring him, which was an impulse that we had to withstand a couple of times.”

“I want to explore, of course to play all the pieces people love they want to hear again, and have balance in terms of new music the, what we all the war horses, and really exploring programs that are really interesting and draw people’s attention.”

Lehninger is a graduate of the Conductors Institute at Bard College in New York and an alumnus of the National Conducting Institute. He’s impressed by the $40 million endowment raised through the 2012 Legacy of Excellence Campaign providing financial stability.

“Everyone here should be really proud that it has such an incredible orchestra, everyone. People that live here, people considering moving here, people that are relocating here for jobs, people that are want to open business here, whatever the reasons are, we need to be proud of this incredible city for everything it has to offer including the symphony. So, I’m happy to be a part of this.”

Patrick Center, WGVU News.   

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