Delta David Gier, music director of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra.

“Delta David Gier has a lot to look forward to,” writes Michael Klinski in Thursday’s (4/27) South Dakota News Watch. “He’s approaching 20 years as conductor and music director of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, which has overcome financial challenges and a global pandemic to position itself as a cultural force on the Great Plains, drawing national acclaim for its community engagement and musical repertoire…. There was the May 2022 article by New Yorker music critic Alex Ross, who dubbed Gier’s 75-member ensemble—just 13 of them full-time—‘one of America’s boldest orchestras’ after attending a world premiere performance of the latest score from composer John Luther Adams … That high-level praise, plus the ongoing Lakota Music Project, Gier’s ambitious effort to meld orchestral styles with traditional Native songs and ceremonies, drew the attention of music-loving philanthropist and South Dakota native Dean Buntrock and wife Rosemarie. Their $2 million donation became the largest in the organization’s history … It’s an exciting time, in other words, for a former New York Philharmonic assistant conductor who arrived in Sioux Falls in 2004 with the stated goal of finding a sense of place beyond standard-fare composers.”