Troubled orchestra picks homegrown music director

Troubled orchestra picks homegrown music director


norman lebrecht

July 29, 2014

The Rochester Philharmonic, which fired its Norwegian music director Arild Remmereit 18 months ago after a breakdown of relations with the management, has announced Ward Stare as its next conductor.

Stare, 31, grew up in Rochester, played in its youth orchestra and, at 18, became principal trombonist at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In 2012 he made his conducting debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, having served four years as resident conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony. He starts in Rochester on 1 September.

Some local musicians, however, still unhappy at Remmereit’s dismissal, have challenged his credentials. They argue that Ward Stare appears hopelessly under-experienced to take the leadership of a ¬†distinguished mainstream orchestra.

Time, we guess, will tell. (It usually does.)



  • Sam Hack says:

    They will find out that they are wrong in their misgivings. They will love him.

  • Mike Tomlinson says:

    Ward Stare was the ex boy friend of Renee Fleming………he is a very talented trombonist but I am sorry to say, as a conductor he isn’t as hot as his look…….I can’t believe the Board of RPO chose him over the many other candidates who surely are much more talented and experienced than Mr. Stare!

  • Papageno says:

    Well, Mr. Stare is certainly young and a very good looking guy. That’s the prerequisite for a music director these days, right?

  • Humma-humma says:

    Doing a great job; keep up the local heros!!

  • Iain Scott says:

    Last night Arild Remmereits stepped in for an indisposed Peter Oundjian for an RSNO concert that included a brand new flute concerto and the two suites from Ravel’s Daphnis & Chloe.
    I have to confess to being curious. This was not a hot tipped young conductor, this was not one of the slated names to watch.
    So how was it ? Quite remarkable was the answer. Very modest on the podium an economical beat and an absolutely wonderful set of performances.
    I and lots of others left the concert – after a much deserved encore- wanting to hear this partnership again.
    The RSNO is a wonderful orchestra but a tough one. They played superbly with a really beautiful full tone. The Ravel glistened and the new Suckling flute concerto for principal flute Katherine Bryan was eerie and beautiful. Bookended by Bryan’s own arrangements of The Lark Ascending and The Medititaion from Thais this was an unusual programme which really worked.
    I left the concert in a better place thanks to the great musicianship of all . I also thought Remmereits one of the most interesting conductors I’ve heard for a while and we have had a few in Scotland as the RSNO celebrates its 125 anniversary.
    Rochester- you lost a good one here. This guy is the future.