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DSSO narrows field to four candidates

Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra search committee, after working diligently for the past couple of months, has whittled down a field of 167 candidates for the permanent position of music director/conductor.

Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra search committee, after working diligently for the past couple of months, has whittled down a field of 167 candidates for the permanent position of music director/conductor.
The search began after the previous conductor, Yong-yan Hu, announced earlier this year that he had accepted a similar position with an orchestra in Shanghai, China.
The final four candidates for the position have one more step in the hiring process. They must now perform a live audition as a guest conductor during the January to May portion of the upcoming season.
The finalists for the position are as follows:
Giancarlo Guerrero, who is currently the associate conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, will conduct the Jan. 20 Masterworks performance titled "Old World, New World," featuring Weber's "Oberon Overture," Mozart's "22nd Piano Concerto" and Copland's "3rd Symphony."
Andrews Sill, who is currently the associate conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, will conduct the Feb. 10 Masterworks performance titled "Musical Smorgasbord," featuring Corigliano's "Voyage for Strings," Haydn's "Cello Concerto in C," Dvorak's "Restful Woods," Maxwell Davies' "An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise" and Respighi's "The Pines of Rome."
Steven Amundson, who is currently the conductor of the St. Olaf Orchestra, will conduct the March 24 Masterworks performance titled "The King of Instruments," featuring Mendelssohn's "Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream," Dvorak's "Violin Concerto" and Saint-Saens "3rd Symphony (Organ)."
Markand Thakar, who is currently a covering conductor of the New York Philharmonic, will conduct the May 5 Masterworks performance titled "A Requiem for Mankind," featuring Mozart's "Exsultate, Jubilate" and Brahms' "A German Requiem."
"We are extremely excited about the level of talent our candidates possess," said Jon Staudohar, who chaired the music director search committee. He said the committee received applications from around the world and due to the impressive qualifications of the applicants, narrowing the search to the final four was an extensive process.
"All of the finalists have pointed to the strong reputation of our orchestra as their main reason for wanting the position," said Susan Bunce, symphony executive director.
Giancarlo Guerrero grew up in Costa Rica after his family fled civil strife in their native Nicaragua. He has served as general director of the Costa Rican Lyric Opera and music director of the Tachira Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela.
As associate conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, Guerrero leads the group's education, pops and family concerts, in addition to serving as a cover conductor for subscription performances. Guerrero holds degrees from Northwestern University and Baylor University.
Andrews Sill was born in New York City and raised in Connecticut. He received a bachelor's degree cum laude from Yale University, where he studied both piano and conducting from the age of 15. He continued his education under scholarship and fellowship awards from the Manhattan School of Music, where he earned a doctorate in 1987. In 1993 he was chosen by the American Symphony Orchestra League to conduct in master classes of Lorin Maazel. Sill was appointed associate conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in 1998 after having served as assistant conductor or associate conductor for the Virginia Symphony, the Florida Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Ballet.
Steven Amundson has conducted the renowned St. Olaf Orchestra for nearly two decades. He earned his bachelor's degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and his master of music degree in conducting and theory from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
Amundson served from 1984-97 as music director of the Bloomington (Minn.) Symphony Orchestra and has guest conducted for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra, Metropolitan Symphony in Minneapolis, the Salzburg Mozarteum International Summer Academy Orchestra, Tacoma Pops Orchestra and several others. He is also a composer whose works have been widely performed.
Markand Thakar made his debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1997, stepping in for Leonard Slatkin on short notice and with no rehearsal. He is appearing this season in subscription concerts with the New York Philharmonic, with the Charlotte, Illinois, Ann Arbor, Flint, Waterbury and Stony Brook symphony orchestras, at the Aspen Music Festival and with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony. He is also joining the New York Philharmonic as assistant conductor on its tour of Europe.
Thakar's training includes a bachelor's degree in composition and violin performance from The Juilliard School, a master's degree in music theory from Columbia University and a doctorate in orchestral conducting from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory.
Finley Stalvig is a reporter for the Superior
Daily Telegram, a member of the Up North Newspaper Network.

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