Five music directors fight it out for one vacancy

The Kalamazoo Symphony is looking for a music director to replace the long-serving Raymond Harvey in June 2018.

A shortlist has been drawn up. All five candidates are music directors elsewhere, looking for an upgrade.

They are:

Donato Cabrera, m.d. at Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra since 2014 and the California Symphony since 2013.

Edwin Outwater, outgoing m.d. at Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony.

Andrew Grams, m.d. at  Elgin Symphony Orchestra.

Stilian Kirov, newly appointed m.d. at Illinois Philharmonic.

And Julian Kuerti, principal conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Concepción in Chile.

Looks like Kalamazoo is quite a catch.


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  • They’re all guest conducting in the coming season. Does that constitute a shortlist?

    Outwater announced a couple of years ago that this would be his last season at K-WS. His replacement has already been named and is working on forthcoming season plans. He is American, and presumably wanted a change after 10 (very good, very successful) years at K-W. But I’m not sure how much of an upgrade Kalamazoo would be. K-W got better guest artists.

    I’m not sure Kalamazoo is an “upgrade” for other candidates either. There are other reasons to change and move — and K’zoo is not short of a bob or two.

    • He is indeed. Julian Kuerti is also at the moment Principal Guest Conductor at the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal (YNS’ orchestra) and has given us some terrific concerts.

  • If chosen, will Maestro Cabrera give up one of the other positions to take Kalamazoo or will he attempt to lead three orchestras simultaneously?

  • Wow – top to bottom, a better list than what Oklahoma City spent the season interviewing (and OKC is a much larger market than Kalamazoo).

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