The Zebra: José-Luis Novo Ably Conducts the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra in a Rousing Nationalistic Concert

Posted Nov 29, 2018 | ASO News, Reviews, 

Two years ago when Kim Kluge left his post as conductor of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO) after a brilliant 28 year tenure, he left gigantic shoes to fill. Judging by the concert I heard on February 11, there are several young, as well as seasoned conductors, who appear to be ready and able to fill that vacancy. Starting in 2015 when they knew that Maestro Kluge would be leaving in the spring of 2016, the ASO board began the search for a new conductor by sending out a call for applications. They received 170 applications and after due consideration, they selected 25 candidates. Then, in January, 2017, they narrowed the field to four finalists. All of those conductors were asked to program and conduct one of four concerts for the 2017-2018 Season.Three of the four finalists for this greatly prized position have now conducted concerts beginning in September, 2017. Each of those candidates programmed the concerts, rehearsed with the orchestra, and performed before large, enthusiastic audiences. Following those concerts audience members were invited to fill out a Conductor Evaluation Form and return it to the orchestra management by a deadline. Announcements were made from the podium about filling out the surveys online as well. After the fourth and final concert on April 8, the Board will meet to tally up all the results of the handwritten and online surveys. Then the board should be able to make a final decision on whom they feel would be the best fit for the ASO. The goal is for the new conductor to lead the orchestra in the Alexandria Birthday Concert in July.

To read the original article published February 15, 2018 in The Zebra, click here.