In case you missed the news

Alex Prior

With all the hub bub about Kurt Masur’s visit and stories about contract negotiations between the SSO management and musicians you might have missed two important stories.

First, Seattle Opera released their 2010/2011 season.  From the press release.

Seattle Opera today announced its compelling 2010/11 season. The line-up features a Wagnerian masterpiece, a dark tragedy, a hilarious romp, a poignant retelling, and a magical fantasy, all wrapped into one thrilling season. Tristan und Isolde kicks off the season in July, followed byLucia di Lammermoor in October. In 2011, audiences will see The Barber of SevilleDon Quixote,

and The Magic Flute.

“We launch the season with a new production of one of the greatest operas ever composed, Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde,” said General Director Speight Jenkins. “We have assembled great casts, conductors, and directors in a wide variety of operas—none of which has been seen in Seattle for at least ten years, and one which has never been done here. I can promise you that the season will live up to the traditions of Seattle Opera.”

Then there was the announcement that 17 year old Alex Prior was becoming the assistant to the guest conductors at the Seattle Symphony — a nice job considering Alex’s age and the number of conductors coming through Seattle these days.

Seattle Symphony is pleased to welcome 17-year-old conductor Alexander Prior to an unprecedented Chairman’s Fellow position, Assistant to the Guest Conductors. Prior, who is rapidly becoming known in the international music world, will play an essential role in assisting the many high-profile guest conductors coming to Seattle from January through July, 2010 as part of the Music Director Search.

The Chairman’s Fellow position was created by Board Chair Leslie Jackson Chihuly, who remarked, “We are thrilled to have such a promising young conductor as Alex Prior joining our conducting team. His work will be an asset to us, and we look forward to nurturing his artistic development.”

Although Prior’s role as “cover conductor” is behind-the-scenes, he will play an important role on the Seattle Symphony’s conducting staff by being prepared to step in at a moment’s notice if a guest conductor is unable to conduct a rehearsal or performance. Serving on the conducting staff of a major orchestra is a key professional development opportunity for young conductors, although most are not given the opportunity at such a young age.

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One thought on “In case you missed the news

  1. Hallo, Gatheringnote Readers!
    With all the hullabalu about Kurt Masur (perhaps the greatest living conductor!!!) and Alex Prior (conductor prodigy), another excellent conductor was overlooked (Joana Cordeiro), who conducted a demanding program on 14 February with ONLY(!!) one rehearsal that morning. This Portugese woman reminds me of her Venezuelan counterpart in both original readings and ability to get an orchestra to perform them, which she did magnificently. In considering Schwarz’s successor, she should be seriously considered. Yes, she’s young, but talented enough to head Seattle’s orchestra. Like Speight Jenkins gets them while they are young and upward bound, the Sea Symph could do likewise with this conductor!!

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