“More than 2,000 people standing on their feet and cheering at the end of a Grand Rapids Symphony concert isn’t unknown in DeVos Performance Hall. In midtown Manhattan, however, it’s a different story. Four years ago this month,” writes Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk in Sunday’s (5/3) Grand Rapids Press (Michigan), “the Grand Rapids Symphony traveled to the Big Apple, and even the jaded New York critics couldn’t help but notice the unusually enthusiastic response. … Any music director can take his orchestra on tour. Only David Lockington could bring along an audience. Ten years of Lockington’s quiet charisma and genteel charm on the podium have transformed the orchestra that celebrates its 80th anniversary season next year. … Lockington, 52, has reinvented the role of a music director in this community, where his now-familiar face has been seen on the sides of buses, on billboards and even a bobblehead. Behind the scenes, he’s sung, played cello and given talks for dozens of schools, churches and civic organizations throughout the area. … Lockington’s contract with the Grand Rapids Symphony extends through the 2010-11 season, putting him on a path to becoming the longest-serving music director in the orchestra’s history.”

Posted May 5, 2009