In Monday’s (4/19) Richmond Times-Dispatch (Virginia), Angela Lehman-Rios writes, “It all started with the kettledrums. A friend of the Richmond Symphony’s timpanist suggested Steven Smith as a candidate for music director. The timpanist tipped off the search committee, which sent a few members to Akron, Ohio, where Smith was guest-conducting a concert. After scouting a rehearsal, they took Smith out to chat about the Richmond Symphony opening. Clarinetist Jared Davis, a search committee member, was with the group that night and recalls that Smith told them he wasn’t in the job market because he was happy where he was. But Smith, 50, decided to go through with the audition, and Jim Jacobson’s friend’s hunch was right. Smith was appointed music director of the Richmond Symphony on March 4 after a search process that spanned nearly two years, produced nine finalists and brought Smith to Richmond twice to direct three concerts. If Smith wasn’t really looking for a new job, what changed his mind? … [Smith] described being ‘thrilled’ with the talent and commitment of the orchestra. ‘[I felt] a sense of collaboration that we’ve just begun to touch the surface of.’ He also said he was excited about the extent of the education programs.” Smith will continue his current positions as music director of the Cleveland Chamber Symphony and the Santa Fe Symphony and Chorus.

Posted April 20, 2010