Maestro move: Santa Fe plays safe

The orchestra has named Guillermo Figueroa, 63, as its next principal conductor. The choice of a familiar collaborator was made by the musicians.

Figueroa, 63, is music director of the Music in the Mountains Festival in Durango, Colo., and of the Lynn Philharmonia at the conservatory of Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. He was formerly music director of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, concertmaster of New York City Ballet, and a founding member and concertmaster of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in New York City.

He is most familiar to audiences here through his position as music director of the Albuquerque-based New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, which he led from 2000 until its bankruptcy and demise in 2011.

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  • How on earth is this a “safe” choice? They are lucky to have him! Guillermo is a fantastic musician, and I was blessed to sub in the NYCB orchestra when he first emerged as a great conductor. I would thank my stars to play another concert with him.

    He is a fiddle virtuoso, then went the extra mile to study, practice, and become a great conductor. If anything, his Latino heritage may have sidelined him from other jobs, as boards aren’t always that open-minded — the only way Dudamel landed in LA was through the brilliant Deborah Borda. Guillermo deserves his rising star.

    • He is a very smart person, and is clearly on the verge of the next wave of classical music. He will make a big difference.

  • He is a consummate musician and conductor. We did Lowell Liebermann’s Third Piano Concerto and I was extremely impressed with his many gifts. He is truly deserving to be music director –anywhere.

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