Breaking: US music director steps down from two orchs

Breaking: US music director steps down from two orchs


norman lebrecht

September 16, 2015

This looks like a work in progress.

Andrew Litton, 56, is shuffling his pack. He has told the Colorado Symphony, where he only recently renewed, that he wants out after the end of this season.

He is also leaving the Bergen Symph in Norway.

Instead, he will be music director of New York City Ballet (NYCB), which is closer to where he lives.

andrew litton



  • Halldor says:

    But wasn’t he only ever in a temporary, adviser-type position at Colorado? He’s been fairly clear, hasn’t he, that this was always going to be a finite role, and wouldn’t lead to anything bigger?

  • Ian Munro says:

    The Bergen Phil isn’t a surprise at all it has been well documented that Edward Gardner would be taking over this Autumn anyway. Colorado is a surprise. He’s a favourite with CBSO could this be a thread worth pursuing?

    • John says:

      Denver Post reported that management wanted him living in Denver, which not unsurprisingly led him to terminate his contract extension two years early. Mgmt screwed up again here, in my opinion.

  • John says:

    I am kind of surprised that he gave up two symphony posts for a ballet job. I thought ballet conductors were more like répétiteurs. Maybe being in New York is a plus, though.

    • MacroV says:

      It does seem quite unusual for a conductor of Litton’s stature to take on a ballet gig, even if it’s the great NYCB. If the orchestra is anything like the one I heard about 15 years ago (admittedly a long time ago), it could definitely use a conductor who can shake things up. And Gergiev’s recent appearance at BAM conducting the Maryinsky Ballet made the point that a real maestro can have a profound impact at the ballet.

      • Max Grimm says:

        I don’t know what the orchestra sounded like 15 years ago, but based on what they sounded like a little shy of 2 years ago, when I heard them visiting friends in New York, I’d agree with your assessment of them needing a conductor who can shake things up.

  • TI says:

    Maybe he is looking to do a bit more freelance conducting / opera as well? According to his calendar, he is doing Strauss’ “The Egyptian Helen” at the Deutsche Oper in March and April 2016.

  • Nigel Harris says:

    I had the same thought as Mr Munro. The fact that the CBSO seems to be taking its time appointing a Music Director makes you wonder whether they’re waiting for an established figure with a full diary to make him-/herself available, rather than going with their ‘usual’ brilliant young gun. And Litton would tick all the boxes: first-rate conductor with an excellent relationship with the orchestra and its audience, and a fascinatingly wide repertoire to boot.