Louis Langrée is the new music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The Frenchman, 51, music director of the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center in New York and guest in opera houses internationally, starts his new post with the 2013-14 season.
The appointment comes after a 27-month search, said Trey Devey, president of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops.
"At the outset, we were clear that chemistry and rapport were our criteria, and if that didn't exist we would not push forward," he said. "But in gathering feedback from our musicians and certainly those involved in the search process, it was clear that Louis spiked in that category."
Langrée follows Paavo Järvi, whose decade with the orchestra ended in May, 2011. He will begin his tenure in Cincinnati with six weeks' work in 2013-14, and increase his commitment after that. An initial contract covers four years. The Paris-based maestro, chief conductor of the Camerata Salzburg and busy at the Wiener Staatsoper, has a high profile in Europe, and the new post means an uptick in his U.S. presence.
The Cincinnati Symphony is the model of a smart orchestra: it is several groups in one. It has a main subscription series of about 20 weeks - 10 of which will ultimately be led by Langrée - and plays about nine weeks of pops, plus serves as the ensemble for the Cincinnati Opera and ballet, and Cincinnati May Festival. Langrée has a particular specialty in opera - leading productions at La Scala, Glyndebourne and the Met - which may open up some possibilities in Cincinnati.
"Nothing has been set at this point, but we certainly hope something like that would work out. He's obviously incredibly skilled in that area," said Devey.