In Sunday’s (2/15) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock), Eric E. Harrison reports, “Five conductors hoping to succeed David Itkin as music director of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will guest-conduct the orchestra’s first five Masterworks concerts for 2009-10. One of the candidates, George Hanson, came in second to Itkin during the last conductor search in the 1992-93 season. Hanson, now music director and conductor of the Tucson (Ariz.) Symphony Orchestra, will be on the podium Nov. 7-8 for concerts that will feature cellist Joshua Roman playing Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto. … All 11 members of the search committee—eight board members, two orchestra musicians, and executive director Galen Wixson—came up with the same names when it came down to picking five finalists from a list of the 12 semifinalists, winnowed down from 175 applicants from around the world. … In addition to experience and musicality, the committee’s criteria stressed how the candidates would interact with orchestra patrons and whether they’d be willing to make their home in Little Rock, a contract provision.” Harrison goes on to highlight programs from the 2009-10 season, which the orchestra announced on Thursday.