C’est triste, mais notre chef d’orchestre ne va pas rester ici a Columbus. 😦
Well, we can’t say it’s a surprise at all, but it’s still sad, nonetheless. Our music director, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, is not going to stay here in Columbus beyond the term of his current 4-year contract which ends after the 2013-2014 season. Maestro Zeitouni is originally from Montreal. He has another music director job in Montreal, lives in Montreal and has a new family up in Montreal which includes a little baby girl, Gabrielle.
The announcement was made in this morning’s edition of the Columbus Dispatch.
Taken from this morning’s Dispatch article:
“Would we have liked more of his time? Sure,” said Martin Inglis, board chairman.“Part of it is what he wants to do with his career beyond what we might be able to do for him in Columbus. . . . As we talked about him when he came on board, he’s a superstar.
“Clearly, it’s better if you have ongoing continuity. But the symphony is in a much better place than five years ago — musically improved and financially more stable.”
Zeitouni described the decision as “amicable.”
“To depart to pursue other opportunities is the right thing to do for everyone,” he said, “now that the orchestra is in a more stable place than three years ago.”
Previous to this announcement, I’d spoken to a couple of CSO musicians who spoke very highly of his talent on the podium, so it will indeed be missed. As a patron in the audience, it’s also easy to tell the difference in quality between his conducting and that of other conductors as he draws out a tighter (i.e. even higher quality) performance from the orchestra itself.
The Dispatch article mentions how a search committee is currently being formed to start seeking a new music director for the CSO. This time around, the CSO has had some time to improve its situation, what with CAPA’s help with the finances and a 30% increase in ticket sales this past year from the previous year. The CSO, though still in need of long-term stability and improvement, is in a better place all around. If they’re lucky, they can find a new music director in time for the 2014-2015 season.
As for our outgoing maestro, we fortunately still have seven more concerts to catch him at the helm of our Columbus Symphony Orchestra starting this October.
A la prochaine, maestro!
P.S. Oh, et Maestro! I still really hope to interview you when you return in the fall! 🙂 Merci beaucoup!