I am writing to share with you some news about Daniel Meyer, the Asheville Symphony’s venerable music director and conductor.
Last year, Maestro Meyer signed a two-year contract extension with the ASO. Daniel will conduct a full schedule in the 2016-17 season and a reduced schedule in 2017-18, during which time we will begin the search for a new music director and conductor.
I deliver this to you with a heavy heart. Daniel has seen the ASO through a period of tremendous growth on many levels. Our musicians are playing at the highest level. Our programming is recognized nationally for its creativity. Daniel and I worked together to curate the highly successful Asheville Amadeus festival. Our education programs are thriving. There is no doubt that Daniel is the face of the Asheville Symphony.
However, we know this transition will open up tremendous opportunities for the ASO and Daniel himself, who is a sought-after conductor in both Europe and the U.S.
For some, this news may come as a surprise. National statistics show that the average tenure of a music director at a given organization is 8.19 years. Daniel will have completed 13 seasons with the ASO, which is a testament to his leadership. It’s a wonderful thing to have that kind of sustained leadership, but it’s also important that organizations continue to build on that foundation.
We will spend the next season celebrating Daniel, and we are programming a number of big, exciting concerts next year to reflect our gratitude for our Maestro, our musicians and our community. Already on the schedule are an all-Tchaikovsky celebration, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, a New Year’s Eve performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and a performance of Mahler’s First Symphony on the season finale. Of course, Daniel will again lead Asheville Amadeus with violinist Midori, who will join us in March 2017.
Our succession plan is to convene a search committee of ASO musicians and board members, along with a member of the Asheville community, to begin this spring the process of finding a new music director. We are confident that because of the work Daniel has done in Asheville, the search will be highly competitive, resulting in an exceptionally strong pool of candidates.
I have attached a copy of the media announcement about the music director position that we are releasing this week. Patrons will receive their 2016-17 season brochures in March.