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It's Been 60 Years Delighting

Maestro Boreyko

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) has become the celebrated hub of Winnipeg's rich cultural life and has gained international recognition for the Centara Corporation International New Music Festival, now in it's 14th year. Programming consists of three flagship Classics series, Masterworks, City Classics and Musically Speaking with its thematic programming, the Pops, Sundays with the Families, and an array of special concerts through the season. As well, the WSO offers a concert season for Brandon, Manitoba, which is drawn from the Classics series. In addition to its own season, the orchestra performs with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Manitoba Opera. WSO musicians form the core of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and symphony musicians are active in Winnipeg in a variety of performing and teaching situations.

Orchestra hires new conductor
Last Updated Feb 1 2006 04:32 PM CST

Alexander Mickelthwate [click for larger image]
Alexander Mickelthwate

The hunt is over: the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra has announced its new conductor will be Alexander Mickelthwate.

The 35-year-old Mickelthwate will replace Andrey Boreyko, leading the orchestra both on the podium and in artistic planning for three years beginning with the 2006/2007 season in September.

Mickelthwate was born in Germany, and is currently the associate conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He turned down two other offers to come to Winnipeg.

"It was the one orchestra where I felt very much at home. It was a fun orchestra, a young group and a group used to high-profile music directors," he said.

"There's a big, graphic visual world in Winnipeg – galleries – and to create connections out there, there's a video place here … I can't wait to create relationships and have projects together."

Gwen Hoebig, who is the orchestra's concertmaster and sat on the hiring committee, says Mickelthwate stood out from the other 10 applicants in the year-long selection process.

"In the interview, when he sat down and started about his ideas of where the orchestra could go and the potential and where he feels we should be heading, [it] was just so interesting to listen to him and so excited about some of the ideas that he will bring with him," Hoebig said.

Mickelthwate knew he got the job back in December, but Wednesday was his first day rehearsing with the orchestra. He says the waiting period was similar to getting married and not being able to see your spouse for a month.

He doesn't plan to commute to the podium from another city, saying he and his family are moving to Winnipeg.

Mickelthwate is conducting the orchestra this weekend in Brandon and in Winnipeg in concerts that were previously scheduled, appropriately called Homecoming

Press release from the W.S.O

WINNIPEG, Manitoba: Carol Bellringer, the President of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, today announced that the organization has named conductor Alexander Mickelthwate as its next Music Director, ending a year-long selection process.

Alexander Mickelthwate, recently promoted to Associate Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will lead the WSO both on the podium and in artistic planning for three years beginning with the 2006/2007 season. Mickelthwate succeeds Maestro Andrey Boreyko who has been at the helm of the orchestra for the past four seasons.

"I am very happy and excited to accept this appointment and I am honored to have been chosen as the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra's next Music Director, " Mickelthwate said. "I am eager to work with the musicians, management and the board of directors to bring music of the highest quality to the people of Winnipeg and in doing so, to engage the community in new and creative ways. I look forward to getting to know the city of Winnipeg and to making my home here," he added.

Bellringer, who was a member of the Music Director selection committee said, "We want to extend to Alexander Mickelthwate a very warm welcome to Winnipeg, to the WSO and to the arts community in Manitoba. We are so very pleased that he is here this week as our guest conductor, and look forward to his leading us through the next season and many seasons to come."

"We know that Maestro Mickelthwate will join us in applauding our current Music Director Andrey Boreyko for his artistic influence on this fine orchestra and for his role in improving the organization overall," she added.

Mickelthwate will lead the talented WSO musicians in concerts entitled Homecoming this weekend in Brandon and Winnipeg. He will also conduct a family concert on Sunday afternoon. All appearances were previously scheduled events.

Tickets for Homecoming in Brandon on Friday, February 3rd are available by calling 1(204) 728-1950 and Winnipeg concerts on Saturday, February 4th (Homecoming) and Sunday, February 5th (Bach to the Future) are available at the WSO Box Office or by calling 949-3999.

Mickelthwate will take to the podium as WSO Music Director to kick off the orchestra's 2006/2007 Season on September 8, 2006.

Michelle Mourre conductor-in-residence

the usual, very talented, suspects

the official website of
North America's finest
symphony orchestra

related internet links

this incredible percussionist
has performed with the WSO

the online daily newspaper
of classical music

 a concert-sized choir of
non-professional and semi-professional
singers, strives for excellence in
the performance of a broad
repertoire of choral music for
the enrichment and entertainment
of  Manitoba audiences and choristers.

Winnipeg symphony orchestras.
Prior to the formation of
the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
in 1946, several orchestras had
been established with varying
degrees of success.

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