Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Delfs to Depart--It's a Loss

It's inevitable, but it's still not good news.

Andreas Delfs will leave his post as music director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra after the 2008-'09 season, the orchestra's 50th.

If all goes well, Hanson said, the MSO will spend 2008-'09 celebrating the orchestra's 50th and wishing Delfs a fond farewell, and 2009-'10 celebrating the arrival of a new music director.

Delfs will conduct eight subscription programs next season and seven in his final year, down from his current 10.

In all, Delfs, 47, will have served 11 years as music director, one as music director designate and three as laureate. The widely quoted average tenure with an American major orchestra is seven years.

He wants less "Music Director" and more conducting--and he's going to let his wife, Amy, take their children through a most interesting time:

Dorian (the oldest of four children) is 14. When I was music director in Milwaukee and St. Paul, the children were small and I didn't want to be gone so much. It was the right thing at the time. I neglected the international career, but now it's time to get back in the game. I'm spending more and more time in Europe, and I need a home base there."

I have some insight into Delfs' capabilities as a musician and conductor, and he's damn good at it. His Brahms is top of the game, and his taste in "new music" does not include wierd stuff (albeit some is a little edgy.)

Best part--the guy has a sense of humor. He's a "real people."

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