In Sunday’s (2/21) Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colorado), T.D. Mobley-Martinez writes, “On Saturday night, during the fifth [program] in the ambitious Masterworks’ season, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic announced the finalists for what is arguably the orchestra’s top job: That’s the music director, a role filled for a decade by Lawrence Leighton Smith. After months of research and interviews, it came down to five, who will strut their stuff during the 2010-11 season: Leif Bjaland on Oct. 23-24, Shizuo Kuwahara on Nov. 13-14, Viswa Subbaraman on Jan. 22-23, Ward Stare on March 12-13, 2011, and Kynan Johns on April 9-10, 2011. The 14-person team of musicians, board members and community volunteers began the work of finding a replacement for the beloved conductor not long after the May announcement he’d be leaving the orchestra in 2011. … more than 250 conductors from all over the world applied. … Leighton Smith, 73, will remain a presence during the season, including conducting at least four concerts. … After each finalist’s appearance, the audience can fill out a short survey about their impressions. The musicians will be polled extensively. The new conductor will be chosen by the search team and their pick will be announced before the end of the season.”

Posted February 23, 2010