“In the last two seasons, audience members at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra have seen and heard 20 guest conductors,” writes Marguerite Helmers in Thursday’s (3/22) Urban Milwaukee. “Potentially, one of these will be named the new music director…. How does an orchestra select its next music director? Douglas Hagerman, chair of the music director search committee and board chair of the League of American Orchestras, explains: ‘We have a committee with nine members—four board members, four musicians, and Mark.’ Mark, of course, is MSO executive director Mark Niehaus…. In addition to conducting the orchestra, the candidates have met with the staff and the board. Musicians and audience members have been invited to evaluate the conductor…. Hagerman believes ‘the concept of an orchestra as it has been must change…. A music director who makes the orchestra valued for the whole community is going to be better for us in the long run.’ … Gender and cultural diversity are also a concern for all orchestras.… Diversity, equity, and inclusion are equally important. Consider the demographics of Milwaukee, in which the minority population is close to 57 percent, making people of color the majority cultural stream in the city. The 2016 League of American Orchestras conference was devoted to these issues.”

Posted March 26, 2018