BY SANDY STAGGS
The Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s Project Maestro enters phase two this weekend when the second of three finalists takes the podium to vie for the coveted title of SPO conductor.
Patrick Dupré Quigley will lead the ensemble on Saturday, November 4 at Twichell Auditorium in an eclectic and electric program opening with the Overture from Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro.”
After a 22-month worldwide search to replace Sarah Ioannides, the SPO narrowed the field to three candidates. Stefan Sanders conducted a rousing “Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” in September and Scott Seaton will helm Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4” on February 4, 2018.
The ideal Music Director of the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra “would build a great connection with our musicians and be a leader with clear vision for our organization,” says Executive Director Kathryn Boucher.
“Each of our finalists brings unique qualities to Spartanburg. Patrick’s experience in guest conducting large orchestras (Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic) shows his talent to lead a team of musicians that he has never met before,” she adds. “Additionally, his charisma and passion will charm the audience. We are thrilled to bring this level of talent to our community.”
Quigley, who hails from New Orleans, but now lives in Washington, D.C., has been making the rounds all week in Spartanburg and discovering all our city has to offer.
“I am excited and honored to be leading the Spartanburg Philharmonic,” he said. “I would hope that every moment that we make music would be a moment that is created with the interests of the community of Spartanburg in mind.”
“Whether is it a performance of Benjamin Britten’s ‘Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra,’ or an evening performance of Beethoven’s ‘9th Symphony,’ I would hope that our music making would be in the service of the greater municipal pride and robustness of Spartanburg.”
Recently, Quigley has guest conducted with the New World Symphony and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, as well as conductor appearances for three programs with the San Francisco Symphony.
Yet, his crowning achievement thus far in his career may be as Founder and Artistic Director of Seraphic Fire and the Firebird Chamber Orchestra in Miami. Seraphic Fire is comprised of ensemble singers and instrumentalists that perform repertoire ranging from Gregorian chant and Baroque masterpieces, to Mahler and newly commissioned works by America’s leading composers.
Quigley was nominated for two 2012 Grammy awards for his work with Seraphic Fire: Best Choral Performance for Brahms’ “Ein Deutsches Requiem” and Best Small Ensemble Performance for “A Seraphic Fire Christmas.”
Under his tutelage, Seraphic Fire has released 13 albums including Monteverdi’s “Vespers of the Blessed Virgin,” which topped the iTunes classical music charts.
The recognition National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences has really allowed me to show my parents what I do for a living and that I do it at a high level,” the humble Quigley told Carolina Curtain Call. “It is one of the greatest conversation starters in terms of being able to explain what type of Classical music I do.”
Fellow Grammy nominee and soloist Kathryn Mueller will also be joining Quigley on stage for Glière’s vocally-demanding “Concerto for Coloratura Soprano.”
“I’m very excited for my debut with the Spartanburg Philharmonic and my first performance of the Glière Concerto,” she says. “It’s a tour de force – full of beautiful melodies and high-flying coloratura – that I’ve had on my radar for years.”
Based in Raleigh, NC, Kathryn tours the United States regularly and teaches at East Carolina University and North Carolina State University. She earned her Grammy nomination in 2015 for her solo work on True Concord’s album “Far in the Heavens.”
But the cornerstone of Saturday’s program will be Sibelius’ “Symphony No. 2,” a 40-minute masterwork that the composer deemed “a confession of a soul.”
The SPO is inviting Spartanburg to be a part of the process by voting via its website at SpartanburgPhilharmonic.org/Vote and at the concerts via a voting card in the program.
For biographies on all three candidates, Click HERE.
“Classical Conversations,” a pre-concert chat, will begin at 6:15 p.m. with host Dr. Chris Vaneman, Director of the Petrie School of Music at Converse College.
Tickets start at $26 each and can be purchased online at SpartanburgPhilharmonic.org, by telephone at (864) 278-9671, or at the Twichell box office. Youth and Teacher pricing is also available.