In Sunday’s (9/30) Ventura County Star (California), Karen Lindell writes, “The New West Symphony, along with bountiful applause for its new conductor, Marcelo Lehninger, received a generous gift at its season-opening concert on Friday at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center: a $1 million endowment, the largest donation the orchestra has ever received. After intermission, Miriam Chase Wille, a longtime symphony supporter and board member from Ventura, presented the donation, in the form of a giant check, to kick off a three-year fundraising campaign. … ‘The gift was given so we can have a music director position endowed in the future,’ said Natalia Staneva, New West’s executive director. ‘This is a significant donation. Our budget is $1.9 million per year. The endowment will cover a large portion of the salary of the music director.’ Funds for the orchestra’s multiyear campaign will go to the orchestra’s overall operations and artistic programs. ‘It will help us expand what we do in the community, which is Marcelo’s vision,’ Staneva said. Lehninger is the symphony’s second music director in its history.”

Posted October 1, 2012