Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra Announces Finalists for Music Director

SPO Music Director Sarah Ioannides will be stepping down from the podium at the end of the 2016-2017 season.

The Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) has selected three candidates as finalists for the position of Music Director.  Patrick Dupré Quigley, Stefan Sanders, and Scott Seaton will each visit Spartanburg and conduct a concert for the public.

These three conductors were chosen from a pool of over 125 applicants by a Search Committee comprised of orchestra musicians, community members, Board members, and representatives from the SPO staff.  The international search began in August of 2015 when current Music Director Sarah Ioannides announced that she would be stepping down from the podium at the end of the 2016-2017 season.

In vetting the candidates, the Search Committee met regularly to discuss the qualities and qualifications that would best suit the goals of the organization.  They surveyed fellow citizens of Spartanburg to better understand what the community is looking for in an orchestra, while the Board of Directors took a moment of introspection to ensure the goals of the symphony were clearly laid out for the prospective candidates.  After carefully reviewing resumes, watching hours of conducting videos, holding phone and Skype interviews, and hours of deliberation, the committee is pleased to invite these three conductors to Spartanburg.

All three audition concerts will take place at Twichell Auditorium as a part of the regular SPO season.  Tickets will be available online and at the box office beginning in late spring when dates and programs are announced.  Audience members will have an opportunity to meet the candidates after each show and will be encouraged to provide feedback about their musical experiences.  The Search Committee will announce the new Music Director in early 2018, and he will take to the podium for the 70th Anniversary of the SPO in the fall of that year.

Patrick Dupré Quigley

Proclaimed “extraordinary” (Gramophone), “inspirational” (Chicago Sun-Times),  and “vivid, sensitive” (Washington Post), GRAMMY® Award nominee Patrick Dupré Quigley has established himself as an exemplary conductor, creative programmer, and lauded arts entrepreneur whose skills as a musician transcend traditional genre boundaries.

The Founder and Artistic Director of Seraphic Fire and the Firebird Chamber Orchestra, Quigley is celebrated for his exacting, historically-informed interpretations of Classical and Baroque repertoire. He was honored with a GRAMMY® Award nomination for his recording of Brahms’s Romantic masterpiece Ein Deutsches Requiem.

Recently, Quigley has guest conducted with the New World Symphony and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; cover conductor appearances for three programs with the San Francisco Symphony and Handel’s Messiah with The Cleveland Orchestra.

Stefan Sanders

Stefan Sanders currently holds the Montante Family Endowed Resident Conductor Chair with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, where he leads performances on the Classical, Know the Score, Pops, Rock, and Family series as well as the Buffalo Philharmonic’s education concerts. Sanders has collaborated with an array of distinguished orchestras and guest artists including the Orquesta Sinfónica de Guayaquil (Ecuador), Filharmonia Warminsko-Mazurska (Poland), San Antonio Symphony, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, and the Austin Symphony Orchestra.

Recently, Sanders was selected to participate in the prestigious League of American Orchestras “Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview.” This conductor showcase, designed to feature talented young conductors poised for music directorships with major American Orchestras, was hosted by the Nashville Symphony in May of 2016.

Prior to a career as a conductor, Sanders was an internationally renowned trombonist, having performed as a soloist in North America, Asia, and Europe. His performance of Eric Ewazen’s Concerto for Bass Trombone and Orchestra, with the Czech Philharmonic, can be heard on the Albany Records label. Sanders has performed with several orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra, and the Seattle Opera’s 2001 production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

Scott Seaton

Conductor Scott Seaton is in increasing demand on the international level after having won the INTERAKTION competition in Berlin and as a semi-finalist in the 2012 Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition in Frankfurt, Germany. He has been praised as a conductor with “finesse, clarity, and precision” by the Luxembourg Times and has left audiences “breathless” according to Entertainment News Northwest.

Seaton is entering his second season as Music Director of the North State Symphony and was recently named Principal Conductor of the Veridian Symphony Orchestra.

Since his international debut in 2007 with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Seaton has conducted orchestras spanning North America, South America, and Europe. Notably, he has worked with the Charlotte Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonia Orchestra, the Brandenburger Symphoniker, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, and the Detroit Symphony.

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