What other projects are you working on?
Besides keeping up important relationships with a few other orchestras through guest conducting, the Omaha Symphony will be my musical priority. Outside of conducting, I love being with my wife and twin boys and am often involved in many of their projects as a result!
Have you made any discoveries (musical or otherwise) during this strange physical distancing time we’re going through?
I have tried to be productive during this time by (in part) starting a website with a few conducting colleagues called Everything Conducting. It is designed to be a free (and growing) resource to help conductors of many different ensembles, of different levels, and at different parts of their careers navigate many different parts of conducting that don't always get addressed by their primary conducting teachers. So, by writing and reading many articles I have learned a great deal and discovered some great information from some wonderful authors!
You’ve performed with us before – what surprised you most about Omaha?
The commitment to the orchestra and to other arts organizations in this city was something I have never seen before, on any level. It was inspiring and motivating. Of course, the orchestra was at the highest level, as was the performing arts center, but I had heard those facts prior to my first week with the orchestra and they were simply confirmed during my weeks with the orchestra. But to go back to my first impressions, I immediately sensed an unmistakable sense of pride and ownership of all things Omaha and was most impressed by this.
What drew you to Omaha and to becoming the new Music Director of the Omaha Symphony?
All parts of the organization are top notch and exactly what I have been looking for. I truly believe that it is a perfect fit! Of course what you see on stage is an incredible product – with excellent musicians, soloists, and conductors performing at an international standard – to be sure. However, you also need to know that the people behind the scenes (who make it all happen) were exceptional. It was very quickly clear that (should I be offered and accept the position), I would have fantastic partners with whom I could work with, build, and advance the mission of the Omaha Symphony – so when they offered the position, it was truly a no-brainer.
How would you describe an orchestra’s role in serving its community?
My goal is to make symphonic orchestral music part of a thriving and diverse community through inclusion and innovation. Omaha is an incredibly rich and diverse community of professionals, artists, dancers, chefs – you name it! They are also incredibly supportive and curious about the arts. I can’t imagine an orchestra existing in such a city without engaging with these individuals on a regular basis. Whether that means regular collaborations with local arts organizations, sharing concerts with local musicians, or presenting concerts all over the city and state; I would envision the Omaha Symphony as a nimble organization supremely relevant in this growing community.