The North Carolina Symphony began its season with an outdoor Labor Day concert broadcast on local television. The September schedule included a celebration of Raleigh’s new convention center, with the premier of a composition by Robert Ward titled “City of Oaks”. Delegate Beth Lunsford reports that the orchestra will record Medtner’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Yevgeny Sudbin as soloist in November. The CD is being produced by BIS Records and will also include Rachmaninov’s Concerto No. 3, recorded last season.
Christoph Eschenbach will become music director designate of the National Symphony for the 2009–2010 season, concluding a search process that delegate Truman Harris says began about three years ago. Beginning in the fall of 2010, Eschenbach will start a four-year contract as music director.
According to former delegate Brian Ventura, the Detroit Symphony has completed an intensive long-range strategic planning process. Their season began with Leonard Slatkin officially on board as the new music director. Mr. Slatkin (he insists that the musicians not call him Maestro) was in Detroit on the second day of the season to meet with the orchestra and will conduct five subscription weeks this season, beginning in December. He is involved in planning future seasons and is taking an active role in fundraising—especially important in the difficult Michigan economy. The orchestra is also beginning the Honda “Power of Dreams” teaching program, which will supplement the DSO’s extensive education program that already includes seven youth orchestra, string, and jazz ensembles.