Kwamé Ryan.

In Tuesday’s (12/12) Charlotte Observer (North Carolina), Adam Bell writes, “For the first time in its nearly century-long history, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra will be led by someone other than a white man. On Tuesday, the orchestra named Kwamé Ryan as its new music director. The 53-year-old Black man grew up on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. He studied at Cambridge, lives on the edge of Germany’s Black Forest with his husband, hosts a weekly podcast for tips and life hacks, is into yoga, mountain biking and rugby, and guest-conducts orchestras throughout Europe and the U.S…. The Charlotte Symphony’s first Black conductor follows two other prominent N.C. orchestras that also tapped people of color to lead their organizations in the past couple years. Ryan’s hiring comes at a time when major orchestras across the country still struggle to elevate Black people to the role of music director, their highest post, a new study by the League of American Orchestras found…. ‘It’s wonderful that this orchestra that serves the diverse communities of Charlotte, Mecklenburg and beyond should be one of the first U.S. orchestras to take a pioneering step like this,’ he said.”