RICHMOND SYMPHONY RENEWS CONTRACTS FOR ARTISTIC LEADERSHIP
November 8, 2012 - Richmond, VA - The Richmond Symphony is delighted to announce the extension of the contracts of its artistic leaders, Music Director Steven Smith, holder of the Lewis T. Booker Music Director Chair, and Associate Conductor and Director of the Richmond Symphony Chorus, Erin R. Freeman, holder of the James Erb Choral Chair.
The renewal of these contracts represents a strong vote of confidence in the organization's artistic vision, leadership and programming. Steven Smith joined the symphony in April 2010, after an extensive national search. As the artistic leader of the Symphony, Steven Smith conducts most of the Symphony's performances and, off-stage, he has immersed himself in the Richmond arts and civic community. Smith is also an award-winning composer; the Richmond Symphony is performing one of his compositions, "La Chasse", as part of the Altria Masterworks Series on January 26 & 27, 2013. Steven and his wife Stacia Lewandowski have made their home in Richmond in Westover Hills. This contract renewal will extend Smith's tenure through the 2015/16 season.
Steven Smith commented: "I am thrilled to be continuing in my position as Music Director of the Richmond Symphony, allowing me to deepen my relationship with the stellar musicians of the Richmond Symphony and the Richmond Symphony Chorus. We have a magnificent gem in the RSO and I am excited by the prospect of moving forward with artistic plans and goals, expanding our programming, reaching new audiences and raising awareness of the essential place of orchestral music in our lives. The Richmond community has been incredibly welcoming and I am delighted to continue my involvement in the creative growth of our city".
Erin R. Freeman joined the Richmond Symphony in 2007. As part of the artistic leadership team, Erin Freeman enjoys special responsibility for the Symphony's offerings for families and students, especially through the Union First Market Bank Lollipops Series and the Elizabeth G. Schneider Discovery Concerts, and she heads the Richmond Symphony's Youth Orchestra Program. Under Dr. Freeman’s direction, the all-volunteer Symphony Chorus has expanded its numbers from 110 to 150 members and increased the range and variety of its programming. This contract renewal will extend Freeman's tenure through the 2014/15 season, a commitment of unusual length for an Associate Conductor, underlining Erin’s dedication to the Symphony and to Richmond.
About the Richmond Symphony
Founded in 1957, the Richmond Symphony includes an orchestra of more than 70 professional musicians, the Richmond Symphony Chorus and more than 200 students in the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra programs. The Richmond Symphony is partially funded by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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