Benjamin Rous to Leave VSO after 8 seasons
HAMPTON ROADS, VA (January 17, 2018) – Next week, eight candidates selected from nearly 100 applicants from across the country will travel to the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach to audition to be the Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s next Assistant Conductor.
Over two days, applicants will conduct the full orchestra, answer interview questions, and deliver prepared talks designed to enlighten audiences of both children and adults. Notably, the candidates have also been asked to submit sample concert programs that are interactive, socially relevant and community-focused.
This is the most diverse group of individuals that the VSO has ever assembled for an audition, according to Symphony officials.
“I think the diversity of backgrounds, musical interests, and experience in this group speaks volumes about the opportunity we are offering here in Virginia,” said President and CEO Karen M. Philion. “As our community looks to the arts to meet changing needs in the 21st century, our orchestra is evolving as well. Our next assistant conductor will first and foremost be an outstanding musician. But each of the candidates also brings a unique background and fresh ideas about how to connect communities through music.”
A nationwide call for this audition went out from the VSO last May when longtime favorite Benjamin Rous was named Music Director of the Charlottesville (VA) Symphony.
Admired for his dynamism on the podium, Rous was hired as Assistant Conductor of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in 2010 and quickly became a favorite among audiences throughout southeastern Virginia. Rous gained a strong local following for every VSO series including Classics, Regional Classics, Pops, Young People’s Concerts, and the performances known as #VSOatRoper.
Rous studied music at Harvard University, focusing on composition and graduating with highest honors, subsequently earing his doctorate in orchestral conducting at the University of Michigan. He also is an accomplished instrumentalist, playing violin, viola, harpsichord and other instruments. Rous’ new position also includes an appointment as Associate Professor of Music at UVA.
“We bid farewell to Ben with enormous gratitude for his extraordinary brilliance and dedication to the Virginia Symphony. He has been an exemplary colleague and leader, and has brought symphonic music to hundreds of thousands of listeners in his time on our podium. We wish him every happiness in his new position with the Charlottesville Symphony and at the University of Virginia.,” stated Music Director JoAnn Falletta.
The VSO’s new Assistant Conductor will be announced this spring.
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