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Press Releases

Bozeman Symphony Announces Six Music Director Finalists

August 11, 2019 | By Bozeman Symphony

After launching their search earlier this year, having received over 200 applicants for the position of Music Director, the Bozeman Symphony has selected six finalists to be featured throughout their upcoming 2019-2020 concert season. Finalists were identified by a search committee using a process that included reviews of materials, interviews, and additional research. The organization’s Board of Directors will host the finalists over a span of two weeks as each finalist participates in guest conducting rehearsals and performances, along with scheduled activities to include meetings with the orchestra, choir, administrative staff, Board of Directors, donors, community partners, media, Montana State University and the public schools. Music Director finalists will participate in the season’s programming as they present a “conductor’s choice” highlighted at each concert series performance held at Willson Auditorium in downtown Bozeman. The list of finalists along with their scheduled performance dates and a short biography follows.

Stefan Sanders: September 28 & 29, 2019

Stefan Sanders, conductor and arts advocate, cultivates cultures of artistic excellence, sustained growth and development, and meaningful engagement within the communities he is fortunate to serve. This year, Stefan embarks on his seventh season as Music Director for the Central Texas Philharmonic, his third season as Music Director for the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra in North Carolina, and his second season as Music Director for the Spartanburg Philharmonic in South Carolina. Stefan has several upcoming guest conducting engagements including several weeks as the cover/assistant conductor for the New York Philharmonic. In 2016, Stefan was a featured conductor for the League of American Orchestras “Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview.” The prestigious conductor showcase is designed to feature talented young conductors poised for music directorships with American Orchestras. Prior to his conducting career, Stefan was an internationally renowned trombonist. Website: http://www.stefansanders.net/

Andrew Crust: October 26 & 27, 2019

Andrew Crust is the newly-appointed Assistant Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony, starting in the 19/20 season, where he will conduct the VSO in a variety of concert series each season. Previously Assistant Conductor of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Crust conducted over 35 performances each season. Recent positions include Assistant Conductor of the Portland Symphony, Cover Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony and Nashville Symphony, Assistant Conductor of the Boulder Philharmonic, and Assistant Conductor of Opera McGill. In 2017-18 Mr. Crust served as Assistant Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA with Michael Tilson-Thomas, Marin Alsop and Giancarlo Guerrero. Recent invitations include concerts in Hartford, Winnipeg, New Orleans, Lima, Bozeman and others. International invitations include l'Orchestra Giovanile Italiana, the Hamburger Symphoniker, the Moravian Philharmonic, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Chile and others. In 17/18 he was awarded first prize at the Accademia Chigiana by Daniele Gatti. Website: https://andrewcrust.com/

Norman Huynh: December 14 & 15, 2019

Norman Huynh is currently the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Associate Conductor of the Oregon Symphony. Now in his third season, he is responsible for conducting an array of concerts including classical subscription, film, education, family and specials. This season, Norman makes his debut with the Rochester Philharmonic, Grant Park Music Festival, Omaha Symphony, and a reengagement with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Norman has served as a cover conductor for the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics. Prior to Oregon, Norman was the Assistant Conductor for the Portland Symphony Orchestra in Maine from 2013-2016. Norman is a graduate of the prestigious Aspen Music Festival and School studying under the tutelage of Robert Spano. One of Norman’s greatest passions is educating the next generation of musicians and music lovers. With an extensive background in music education, he develops youth concerts to provide a tailored and meaningful experience for concertgoers of all ages. His performances have been nationally broadcasted on American Public Media's Performance Today. Norman studied orchestral conducting at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University working with Gustav Meier, Markand Thakar, and Marin Alsop. Website: http://normanhuynhconductor.com/

Wesley Schulz: January 25 & 26, 2020

Wesley Schulz, in his first two seasons with the North Carolina Symphony conducted 150 performances. This included a last-minute Masterworks debut conducting Bernstein’s Serenade with violinist Philippe Quint as well as the entire ballet score to Bernstein’s Fancy Free and Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony. As the main conductor of the Symphony’s Pops series, Schulz has collaborated with Pink Martini, Cirque de la Symphonie, Broadway By Request, Leslie Odom Jr., Michael Cavanaugh and more. In addition, Schulz leads dozens of performances in the Young People’s Concerts, SummerFest, Holiday and Education series. Schulz just completed his first season as Music Director of the Auburn Symphony Orchestra; one of the Pacific Northwest’s best regional orchestras. In their first year together, they presented works by Brahms, Anna Clyne, Respighi, Kevin Puts, Rachmaninoff and more. From 2014-2015 Schulz served as Conducting Fellow of the Seattle Symphony. Schulz graduated magna cum laude with Bachelor degrees in Percussion Performance and Music Education from Ball State University and Doctorate and Master’s degrees in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Texas at Austin. When not on the podium, Schulz can be seen running the streets of your city or playing endless fetch with his two dogs, Chewbacca and Han Solo. Website: http://www.wesleyschulz.com/

Thomas Heuser: March 7 & 8, 2020

American conductor Thomas Heuser has been widely recognized for his stirring leadership and energetic presence both onstage and in the community. Currently he serves as Music Director of the Idaho Falls Symphony in Idaho Falls, Idaho, as well as the San Juan Symphony, an innovative regional orchestra based in Durango, Colorado, and Farmington, New Mexico, that serves the Four Corners. Thomas lives in scenic Durango with his wife, violinist Lauren Avery, and their son Theodore. Dr. Heuser was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for Orchestral Conducting in Germany while serving as a Conducting Fellow with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Moving from Munich to San Francisco, Thomas enjoyed three seasons as the Principal Guest Conductor of the San Francisco Academy Orchestra, working alongside members of the San Francisco Symphony. The son of two molecular biologists at Washington University in St. Louis, Thomas began violin lessons at an early age and studied piano at the St. Louis Symphony Music School. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College and within two years had earned his Masters in Instrumental Conducting (MM) from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Website: http://www.thomasheuser.com/Welcome.html

Janna Hymes: May 2 & 3, 2020

Versatility, passion and innovation are the hallmarks of American conductor Janna Hymes. Renowned for her inspiring performances, musical depth and energetic presence both on and off the podium, she has developed a reputation as an exciting, detailed communicator. Ms. Hymes is Music Director of Indiana’s Carmel Symphony Orchestra (CSO) since 2017.  A popular guest conductor, Hymes continues to expand her relationships with orchestras nationwide. In May 2019 Ms. Hymes stepped down from her post as Music Director of the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra (VA). During her tenure, she led the orchestra on its first international tour at the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts and introduced several performance and education initiatives that are now part of the orchestra's season. Born in New York City, Janna Hymes is a Fulbright scholar, recipient of a 1999 Geraldine C. and Emory M. Ford Foundation Grant, and a prizewinner of the 1998 International Conducting Competition in Besancon, France. She studied under such prominent conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Gustav Meier, Otto Werner-Mueller and Gunther Schuller, and holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati. She also studied at the Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival, the Festival at Sandpoint (ID), and the Conductor’s Guild Institute. Website: https://jannahymes.com/

The Music Director selection process will provide the opportunity for the community to participate in a landmark event for the Bozeman Symphony. A new Music Director will be appointed in 2020 at the conclusion of the Symphony’s concert season. Information about the search will be updated regularly on the Symphony’s website, www.bozemansymphony.org. For more information, contact the Bozeman Symphony at 406-585-9774 or emily@bozemansymphony.org.


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