The San Antonio Symphony announced that Sebastian Lang-Lessing will become their eighth music director, bringing a three-year search to an end. According to San Antonio delegate Stephanie Teply Westney, Lang-Lessing’s four-year contract will start later this year with an October 2 concert featuring Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. In all, he will direct 10 programs during the 2010–2011 subscription season, including a four-concert Tchaikovsky festival. Lang-Lessing will also conduct a special non-subscription concert on January 12 with pianist Lang Lang performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2.
Lang-Lessing previously conducted the San Antonio Symphony in May and November 2009. He was born in Germany and spent time in high school as an exchange student in Indiana. Besides his native German, he speaks English, French, Italian, and Spanish. Lang-Lessing began his career as resident conductor of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and has been active on both the symphony and the opera fronts. His U.S. appearances include performances with San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, Opera Colorado, and Los Angeles Opera. Since 2004, Lang-Lessing has also served as chief conductor and artistic director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
In January, the orchestra committee for the North Carolina Symphony organized a Thank-a-Thon. Over three days, orchestra members phoned nearly 1,300 donors across the state to thank them for their support of the symphony. Donors were grateful for the calls and expressed their thanks for the ways in which the orchestra has enriched their lives. Both donors and musicians enjoyed the opportunity to get to know each other and shared experiences about past symphony concerts. An additional Thank-a-Thon is planned for this spring.