“There’s a new baton in town,” writes Scott Cantrell in Saturday’s (6/6) Dallas Morning News. “It belongs to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s new assistant conductor, Rei (pronounced Ray) Hotoda, who’s making her local debut tonight. She doesn’t officially start on the job until September, but she’s opening the DSO’s Casual Classics series of four concerts at the Meyerson Symphony Center. Her first program includes the Shostakovich Festive Overture, a suite from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and, with pianist Joyce Yang, the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2. On June 20 she’ll conduct music of Dvorák, Copland, Gershwin and Astor Piazzolla.” Hotoda studied piano at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Southern California, catching the conducting bug in graduate school, she says. “Her interest was encouraged in a workshop for young conductors sponsored by the League of American Orchestras, and she got into a graduate conducting program at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Md. … Since 2006 she has been assistant conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in Canada, and since 2008 also music director of the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra.”

Posted June 8, 2009