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Tuesday February 26th, 2013

Posted at 11:45am

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This morning, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra announce the appointment of Robert Franz as Music Director, the sixth in the orchestra’s 65-year history. Franz, who succeeds John Morris Russell. He begins a three-year renewable contract on July 1st.

Franz’s vast artistic experience and versatility, in addition to his passion for outreach in the community and advocacy for arts education, is an extraordinary match with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra’s vision.

“I am honoured and moved to be named the next Music Director of the WSO,” says Franz. “I felt an immediate connection to the musicians during my visit, and I was captivated by the people and the city. I am committed to fostering the relationships with the community, and to forging new ones. I am very much looking forward to many years of music making with the incredible musicians of the WSO, and to continually deepening our artistic experience together.”

WSO Conductor Laureate John Morris Russell is “…thrilled that Robert Franz will join the Windsor Symphony Orchestra family as its next Music Director. Robert is a great friend and colleague; he is an exceptional artist, a musical community builder, and a passionate educator. Windsor is fortunate to have a conductor of his stature and commitment to take our orchestra and region to the next level. There are great things to come!”

The announcement concludes an extensive search lead by a committee comprised of WSO musicians, staff, Guild, and Board members in addition to community leaders that began more than a year and a half ago and resulted in 153 applications from 28 countries.

That pool of 153 was reduced to a short list of 8 announced one year ago. Each of the eight candidates spent a week in Windsor that included, in addition to rehearsing the orchestra and conducting performances, school visits, university lectures, media visits, receptions, and dinners. In addition to input from the Board, Staff and Musicians of the WSO, concert attendees were solicited for input on each candidate.

Maestro Franz is currently working with the artistic staff to fine tune the 2013-2014 concert season. Full season details will be announced in March. Franz will take the podium to lead his first performance as Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra for a weekend of Toldo Pops concerts, September 27, 28 and 29, 2013.

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