Naxos conductor retires

Naxos conductor retires


norman lebrecht

June 30, 2019

The US conductor Stephen Gunzenhauser whose Dvorak symphonic cycle was a breakthrough project on the budget label, is stepping down after 40 years as music director of the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, in Pennsylvania.

Gunzenhauser, 77, made more than 70 recordings.


  • Nathaniel Rosen says:

    Mr. and Mrs. Gunzenhauser are wonderful people. I remember our concerts together with great pleasure.

  • The View from America says:

    Also conductor of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra for a good long spell …

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Stephen is one of the most dynamic conductors I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He is a wonderful musician and has a recording legacy that is both rich and extremely substantial. I wish my friend the very best as he turns the page on a new chapter. He has indeed served the Lancaster Symphony well.

    • Odin Rathnam says:

      I agree wholeheartedly, my friend. Some of my most satisfying and energized collaborations have been with Stephen, an old school Maestro with a huge presence.

  • olivia nordstadt says:

    That’s a change. At one time it was common for conductors to retire after a certain age. Now they either a forcibly retired (Levine) or keep going after their sell-by date. And of course there are zombie conductors like Charles Dutoit. (I suppose he was revived by an injection from Martha).

  • Ken Sarch says:

    It’s about time.

  • MacroV says:

    I always wondered if he had a day job, kind of like some other conductors I’ve only seen on disk, like Theodore Kuchar, Adriano, and Yondani Butt (don’t write in; I can Google them).

  • Jack Riehl says:

    We met years ago when Stephen guest conducted the Costa Rican National Symphony…I remember how he energized the members and the audience loved him! Well done Maestro!

  • Cubs Fan says:

    Thank you, maestro, for introducing me to the great, unappreciated and thrilling symphony in c sharp minor by Bloch! Fine conductor.

  • Karl says:

    I have many of his recordings – Rubinstein, Gliere, Lachner, and some lesser known Dvorak pieces like the Rhapsody in A minor. Thank you maestro. I still enjoy those very much.

  • Brettermeier says:

    The first classical disc I ever bought was his interpretation of Dvořák’s 9th symphony.

    Thank you for paving the way.

  • Gaffney Feskoe says:

    He is a very good conductor in my opinion. Every time the radio plays a piece conducted by Maestro Gunzenhauser with a variety of European orchestras, I made it a point to listen and was always impressed. Why did he not have a notable career in the USA?

  • Insie Ingulatu says:

    Bravo, Maestro Gunzenhauser, for having the cajones to actually retire as a conductor.

    So few do, and yet, so many should. Why must they all die in the saddle? Unpack
    that suitcase, aging baton wavers. Have a beer. Watch Netflix. We will remember you. Clear the podium for someone new.

    Chris Eschenbach? Are you reading this?

  • David says:

    Stephen Gunzenhauser is an extremly talented conductor. Every great artist is confronted with negative people (aka Ken). I’m also not sure this is the place for negative comments after dedicating 40 years of his career to really help bring value to Lancaster and to helping build that orchestra. Ken- is that actually your real name and what do you do for a living? I own every single one of his CD’s and have greatly enjoyed watching him conduct and hope to somewhere else. Bravo Maestro. You are a true talent.

  • John Smith says:

    He’s been an outstanding asset in Central PA. Whenever I came to Lancaster, the performances were on a very high level. He will be missed when he steps down from Lancaster Symphony.

  • Leslie Meller says:

    Wow. Some angry comments for Mr. Ken here. But the truth is Stephen has been an integral part to evolving the arts in Lancaster and music education. Judging from Kens website perhaps he is jealous as his conducting career looks like it never took off. He’s a professor? But let’s not spend time focusing on one negative person on a thread that should be dedicated to an artist with charisma and kindness. He has crafted some really excellent programming. I’m a violonist who has a great deal of respect for the Maestro. I wish him much success and tip my hat off to him. Congrats on a very successful career. I do hope to hear more recordings and thank you for all these years.

  • Odin Rathnam says:

    Remembering fondly over a decade of concerto collaborations, Symphonies and new works….Thanks for great memories, Maestro!!