In a bold return to previous eras of youthful leadership, the Philadelphia Orchestra has chosen to be led by an emerging — though highly coveted — conductor.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, a 35-year-old Canadian whose starry orchestra and opera career is much in the ascent of late, is set to become Philadelphia's eighth music director in 2012. At that time, chief conductor Charles Dutoit will take the title of conductor laureate. The music director appointment is expected to get the official stamp at Monday's board meeting of the orchestra.
Nézet-Séguin's contract runs through 2017, but board chairman Richard B. Worley says he expects the conductor to remain at the helm longer.
"I believe that we have attracted a rising star early in his career, and he will assume the post of music director at about the same age as Ormandy and Muti," said Worley. "And I believe that continuity is important to building audiences. It is certainly my hope that he will lead this orchestra for a very, very long period of time. I hope a decade or more."
ArtsWatch is in Montreal to talk with Nézet-Séguin, and expects to have updates later in the day.
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