Thursday, February 19, 2015

NSO joins conductor reshuffle

Christoph Eschenbach, music director of Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra, will relinquish the post in 2017 after seven seasons, becoming the orchestra’s conductor laureate. With Eschenbach’s coming departure, the NSO joins the New York Philharmonic in searching for a new music director in the next two years, The Washington Post’s Anne Midgette writes:

Washington and New York are among the highest-profile cases in an international reshuffle of orchestras’ artistic leadership.

In the U.S., music directors of the San Diego Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra have already announced their departures in the next two years. Osmo Vänskä’s current contract with the Minnesota Orchestra runs out in 2016, but it’s hard to imagine Minnesota letting him go (besides which, he recently married the orchestra’s concertmaster). New music directors took over this season at the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra and Florida Orchestra.

In Europe, the Berlin Philharmonic, Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin and London Symphony are in the midst of recruiting new chief conductors, and the Vienna State Opera has yet to replace Franz Welser-Möst after his sudden resignation last September.

And several other major ensembles’ conductors may be on the way out, willingly or not.