In Friday’s (5/8) Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Virginia), Carrie White reports, “Russell Stanger, former music director of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and an internationally known composer, will receive an honorary doctorate of music from Old Dominion University at its commencement ceremonies Saturday. ODU is also renaming its Diehn String Quartet the Russell Stanger String Quartet. … He graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music, and after winning the Eugene Ormandy National Conductors Competition, became assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein.” While visiting Norfolk as associate conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony (now Minnesota Orchestra), “he was offered the position of music director and conductor of the [Virginia] symphony in 1966. … During his 14 years as music director (he is conductor laureate of the VSO), he integrated the symphony. … He was also instrumental in the growth of the symphony and the resulting name change from the Norfolk Symphony to the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.”

Posted May 11, 2009