In Tuesday’s (4/5) Press and Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, N.Y.) Chris Kocher interviews José-Luis Novo, who completes his thirteen-year tenure as music director of the Binghamton Philharmonic on April 16. Novo studied piano and violin in his native Spain, and as a youth “always liked conducting, but I thought it was way too difficult.… I was the concertmaster of a few youth orchestras and saw myself leading orchestras from the first stand. At some point, I was given a chance to conduct.” He describes the training necessary to become a conductor, and notes that one must “be able to lead an orchestra without talking.…That takes time and that takes practice in front of instrumental ensembles.” Binghamton was Novo’s first professional music directorship. His accomplishments there, he says, have included “establishing [its] reputation among professional musicians”; projects with area choruses and other “constituents in the community”; commissioning projects with composers Carlos Sánchez-Gutiérrez and Behzad Ranjbaran; and collaborations with “fantastic soloists” such as violinists James Ehnes and Noah Bendix-Balgley. Novo, who will continue as music director of Maryland’s Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, says he’s “applying to other music director positions” and is a finalist at orchestras in South Bend, Indiana, and Fresno, California.      

Posted April 7, 2016