After a nearly three-year search, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra has announced its next music director.
Beginning in the 2019-2020 season, San Francisco-based conductor Alasdair Neale will lead the NHSO, replacing current music director William Boughton who is retiring after 12 seasons with the ensemble. Neale auditioned for the job earlier this year, when he led the orchestra in music by Mozart and Edward Elgar.
Neale has an extensive resume, and currently heads up two ensembles, the Marin Symphony in California and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho.
But the British-born conductor is no stranger to the Elm City, having received his Master's degree in conducting at Yale University in 1985, and later serving as the conductor of the Yale Symphony Orchestra. In a statement, Neale said he's excited to be back on the East Coast.
“I’m eagerly awaiting the opportunity to make music with the phenomenal musicians of the orchestra, to serve the New Haven community, and to once again make my home in the city that so graciously welcomed me for the first time 35 years ago,” said Neale.
Neale said, unlike many conductors who fly in for rehearsals and performance, he plans to relocate to New Haven.
“I can't wait to take up residence. And I am the opposite of a jet-setting maestro. I love putting roots down in the community,” said Neale. “I firmly believe the only way to be an effective artistic leader is to be visible and enthusiastically participating in all aspects of the community.”
After receiving over 150 applications, the NHSO music director search committee whittled the list down to three finalists.
In a statement, the NHSO said, “Throughout the audition process, the search committee received input from the orchestra’s musicians, audience members, community stakeholders, and administrative staff.”