In an unusual and bold move, the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra announced its 2009-2010 season in March prior to completing its search for a new music director. Today, the Orchestra announced that it now knows who that music director will be.
The Orchestra’s Search Committee reviewed the 249 applications of men and women from around the world, and narrowed the field to six finalists. After the audience and the orchestra had the opportunity to see him conduct one of the six Masterworks concert in the FSO’s 2008-2009 season, Christopher Zimmerman was chosen as the 3rd music director in the FSO’s 53-year history.
Marian Egge, Search Committee Chair, described the two-year process that led to the selection of Zimmerman. “First, the committee was looking for Artistic Leadership to take the FSO to the next musical level. Beyond that, we evaluated the ability of the person to take a creative approach to building deep and broad relationships within the community. We wanted someone who could help the FSO….and be a rich source of creative energy and inspiration. Finally, we were looking for a person to be an integral part of our educational programs and committed to their continuous development. The committee felt that Chris not only has all of these skills, but also an enthusiasm for Fairfax County, and demonstrated a real passion for building this orchestra.”
Zimmerman emerged as the Orchestra’s choice because of his extensive knowledge of musical repertoire, enthusiasm and energy, and the overwhelmingly positive responses from the musicians and audience alike. “The selection of Chris Zimmerman ensures that the Fairfax Symphony will continue to explore and achieve artistic excellence for years to come,” said Jose “Pepe” Figueroa, president of the FSO Board of Directors.
“I am so excited about working with Chris,” said Elizabeth Murphy, Executive Director of the Fairfax Symphony. “He has a real vision for this orchestra and its place in our community, and he brings a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm to our organization. The next few years will be thrilling ones for the FSO under his leadership.”
Zimmerman reacted to the news saying he is, “honored, happy, relieved, excited and energized.”
Zimmerman will begin a three-year contract with the FSO starting in the upcoming 2009-2010 season. He will continue to be Music Director of the Hartt Symphony and professor of the Mary Primrose Fuller Chair of Orchestral Conducting at the Hartt School in Hartford, CT. This pastMarch, the Orchestra announced the guest artists’ repertoire for the season, and Zimmerman will complete the repertoire selection in June. (One of the pieces already chosen, Dorman’s Piano Concerto will be played by pianist Alon Goldstein in March 2010 and is an east coast premiere.)