Alex Amsel recently led the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in Illinois as one of several music-director candidates.

“The Elgin Symphony Orchestra’s search for a new music director is in its home stretch,” writes Tom Sawyier in Sunday’s (4/2) Chicago Classical Review. “Eight finalists for the position were offered one subscription concert with the orchestra this season, and the seventh—Alex Amsel—was on the podium this weekend. The final applicant (Chad Goodman) will have his turn with the orchestra early next month, before a final announcement is made on May 23. Amsel made a strong case for himself Saturday night at the Hemmens Cultural Center, leading a vibrant and textured account of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4…. Amsel recently spent three seasons as assistant conductor to the Fort Worth Symphony, where he was actively involved in building that ensemble’s community image through various forms of outreach and engagement, skills that will serve Elgin’s next leader well…. The evening’s soloist was violinist Blake Pouliot … [with an] exceptional account of Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No. 3…. The evening began with Fate Now Conquers, a short curtain-raiser composed in 2020 by the American Carlos Simon (b. 1986).”