July 31, 2014

Person of Interest

Age: 38

Occupation: Originally from Toronto, he is the new music director and conductor for the Southwest Florida Symphony.

Previous gigs: Associate conductor of Orange County’s Pacific Symphony in California and resident conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in Canada.

First time at the helm: "Shaping the artistic direction is the challenge and fun of it."

Making changes: "I talk from the stage [during breaks in the music]. It’s a nice way to let people in, and the audience can hear about what they’re going to listen to."

Classical music today: "There are a lot of emotions in a piece of music that are always relevant. But a lot of distance has been accrued between what the piece is saying and how it’s presented."

Just relax: "People wonder, ‘When am I supposed to clap, what do I wear?’ Who cares? Just come and listen to some great music."

Music for the soul: "For the classical audience, I want them to get something that
nourishes them, and speaks to their human condition."

Early inspiration: Beethoven’s fifth and ninth symphonies.

On his iPod now: The repertoire he is working on with the orchestra and rock bands like Godsmack, Evanescence and Limp Bizkit.

Modern versus classic: "Limp Bizkit and Beethoven, it’s the same thing. Both of them are angry. It’s all about the communication of it—and music is communication."

Love your work: "I like to read and play darts, but music occupies most of my days."

Next concerts: Vive la France on March 9 at BIG Arts on Sanibel and March 10 at Shell Point Retirement Community in Fort Myers with post-concert discussions.

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