I am delighted to share the news that I have accepted a full-time, tenure-track position on the faculty at the University of North Carolina Charlotte as Director of Orchestras.
The last few years have really been extraordinary. I have been extremely fortunate in having found a way to make a living as a conductor, educator, writer, and public speaker (see the links in the top right for more), investing my time and energies in practice, research and reflection, and thus have enjoyed some incredible experiences on very far flung corners of the globe in front of some wonderful orchestras, or engaging in social action through music.
But with some exceptions, generally not at the same time. Outside of South America my efforts as an educator and as a conductor have bizarrely maintained parallel trajectories, never intersecting quite contrary to my desire and efforts, but at UNC Charlotte they will finally converge in a way that excites me tremendously. My highest priority within the Sistema sphere over the last two years has been to attempt to connect theory with practice, to deconstruct the action element of “social action through music,” to attempt to answer the difficult questions that have generally been avoided or even suppressed to date. I haven’t found the answers, I haven’t bridged the gap, but I was tremendously encouraged by how positively my initial efforts were received at UNC Charlotte during a visit earlier this year.
So rather than taking me away from all things Sistema, this position will provide a stronger platform for increased involvement. Nor is my career as a professional conductor on hold in the least: I am also delighted to announce that I am a finalist for the position of Music Director of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony in Connecticut. Former holders of the title include José Iturbi and Gustav Meier, so I am stunned and perhaps even slightly intimidated by this development.
Concert repertoire hasn’t been announced yet, apart from the artistic fulcrum of the Beethoven Triple Concerto with an extremely distinguished trio. It isn’t 18 grand pianos at the Hollywood Bowl, but I’m not a fan of repeat acts anyway.
And so after almost four years in Boston, including a fellowship, a wedding and the birth of two daughters, it’s time for a change. And for those who have remarked on the fact that my younger daughter is named Charlotte, I can assure you that our move to the city of the same name is a complete coincidence. But just in case, I’m naming my next child Honolulu.