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20-something is new music director in Knoxville - Article - 1 June 2016

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra has appointed Aram Demirjian to be its next music director, after a year-long trawl of nine candidates. Demirjian, 29, is currently associate conductor of the Kansas City Symphony.      

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Is this America’s youngest concertmaster? - Article - 26 May 2017

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra today appointed William Shaub as its new concertmaster. William is 24. Does any big-city US orchestra have a younger leader? Born in 1992 in Canton, Ohio, William Shaub was a recipient of the Louis Persinger Scholarship as a student at the Juilliard School. He was a student of Cho-Liang Lin, Emilio Llinas, […]

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Five orchestra players get rewarded for community work - Article - 18 May 2017

press release: New York, NY (May 18, 2017) – Five orchestra musicians will receive Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service from the League of American Orchestras for their important work in hospitals, correctional facilities, schools, museums, and more. The five musicians and their orchestras are: Mark Dix, viola, Phoenix Symphony (AZ): Mind Over […]

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Did your kid or cousin get into the US National Youth Orchestra? - Article - 20 March 2017

They’ve announced the 2017 intake. There are 116 musicians aged 16-19, from 33 U.S. states, including 28 returnees from last year. Marin Alsop will conduct. Warner owner Len Blavatnik is the major sponsor. Violin Fiyi Adebekun, Lansdale, PA Jonathan Altman, Modesto, CA Kelsea Kyu-Ri Au, Henderson, NV Kevin Bai, Plano, TX Anna Black, Eagle, ID […]

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Gavin Bryars to make US debut - Article - 20 October 2016

The Big Ears Festival of Knoxville, Tennessee, is claiming the significant coup of luring out the recluvie UK composer Gavin Bryars to play an American venue for the first time with his own ensemble.   Forget composer in residence. They also have Carla Bley, Meredith Monk and 2016 Pulitzer winner Henry Threadgill. And somebody has rewritten […]

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Eschy, in his last season, adds 3 new faces to Washington orch - Article - 30 August 2016

press release: (WASHINGTON)—National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) Music Director Christoph Eschenbach and Executive Director Rita Shapiro announce the appointment of three new musicians to the NSO roster, effective September 6, 2016: Peter Cain, bass clarinet/clarinet; Eugena Chang, section cello; and Robert Rearden, second horn. Peter Cain joins the NSO from the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, where he […]

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Two US orchestras at odds over young concertmaster - Article - 30 June 2016

We hear that the Louisville Orchestra has signed Knoxville Symphony’s concertmaster, Gabriel Lefkowitz. He’s 28. Louisville’s music director Teddy Abrams, also 28, is a man in a hurry. He’s building a career platform in Louisville and other orchestras, less thrustful, are getting wary. Lefkowitz has serious pedigree. He’s the son of Boston Symphony violinist Ronan Lefkowitz, and […]

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Opera apologises for anti-old, ugly casting (sort of) - Article - 4 December 2015

Message from Knoxville Opera, following the ‘old and ugly’ furore: Knoxville Opera is deeply apologetic and sincerely regrets the hurt caused by our recent audition notice. When we posted the ad for engaging three singers for our education/outreach production of LA BOHEME we used language to communicate in “short-hand” the specific descriptions of the characters […]

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An American bass thunders at anti-old, ugly opera - Article - 3 December 2015

When Morris Robinson lets rips, the stage shakes. Morris has just let rip in the direction of Knoxville Opera which only seeks to cast ‘age appropriate, attractive artists’, no-one older or less pretty. Says Morris:   With regards to Knoxville Opera, and the Executive Director who blew me off and didn’t return my call … […]

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Voice teacher hits back at anti-old, ugly opera company - Article - 3 December 2015

Knoxville Opera’s ageist, lookist casting policy has drawn first blood. Dr Claudia Friedlander, who runs a voice studio, has published an open letter to the opera company that can’t apparently get much right. Claudia writes: The objectification of singers based on age and appearance is ill-conceived and highly detrimental to opera as an art form. […]

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Ugly, old singers need not apply - Article - 2 December 2015

Knoxville Opera has put out a notice for auditions on social media. Under the cautionary heading ‘Restrictions’, it announces: ‘Knoxville Opera will cast age appropriate, attractive artists in these roles’. Oh, really?   Here’s another howler from Knoxville Opera’s Fb page: ‘Just wanted to make something clear. Our annual gala event this Saturday is “The […]

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