Covid hits hard as CSO dumps music director for concertmastermain
Just another of those press releases with an orchestra ‘restructuring’ into its parent hall due to huge Covid losses and no future security?
In the small pring the Charleston Symphony Orchestra is dispensing with music director Ken Lam from next season and replacing him with guest conductors. They will be chosen by a new ‘artistic director’ who is also the otchestra’s concertmaster, Yuriy Bekker.
Ken Lam (r.) has dones a fine job over the past seven seasons, but it looks like this could be one future model for orchestras: save the music director’s salary and fall back on existing payroll.
From the press release:
The new model means the upcoming 2021-2022 season will be the last with Ken Lam serving as Music Director. Lam joined the CSO in 2014, and conducted the orchestra with renowned soloist Yo-Yo Ma, for the Charleston Gaillard Center’s Opening Gala in 2015. “Ken’s engaging presence on stage conducting outstanding performances has been warmly welcomed by patrons over the last seven years. The orchestra has never sounded better, and we look forward to celebrating Ken’s final season next year,” said Robert Siedell, President of the Charleston Symphony’s Board of Directors.
With the redeveloped artistic leadership structure, Yuriy Bekker, Concertmaster and Principal Pops Conductor, will assume the additional role of Artistic Director beginning in the 2022-2023 season. Bekker will work closely with the administrative team, musicians, and the Board Artistic Committees to create outstanding programming and secure guest conductors that inspire both our musicians and our patrons for CSO’s Masterworks performances.
“Despite the challenging year, we are incredibly enthusiastic about our future” Smith concluded. “These changes will ensure the Charleston Symphony is equipped with the necessary resources and flexibility to invest in the organization for the foreseeable future. We are committed to providing audiences with the highest quality orchestral experiences while remaining a financially viable community asset. Over the last thirteen years, Yuriy has become an anchor within the Charleston arts community. I am excited to work with him in this capacity and I know our patrons will share my sentiments. I strongly believe that the CSO will be even better positioned to achieve our mission of bringing people together through music.”