Thursday, February 17, 2011

Unexpected sixth finalist added to Philharmonic search

Posted by on Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 5:10 PM

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In a development as surprising to the Colorado Springs Philharmonic as it is to the rest of us, the orchestra is adding a sixth finalist in its search to replace outgoing music director Lawrence Leighton Smith. At a point where three of the five candidates have already conducted audition performances here this season, conductor Josep Caballé-Domenech — who's stepping in as substitute conductor for the ailing Smith on Saturday evening — will now be joining their ranks.

"The musicians saw him in rehearsal and were so impressed that they asked us to consider him," Nathan Newbrough told the Indy earlier this afternoon. "And our search committee, after lots of deliberation, decided to allow it."

This latest turn of events follows last month's news that outgoing music director Smith has been diagnosed with Binswanger’s Disease, which has raised uncertainty over how many of his scheduled concerts he'll be able to perform.

Thus far in his career, the Barcelona-born Caballé-Domenech has chosen to remain independent, while amassing an impressive array of international credentials, including performances with London's Royal Philharmonic, Tonhalle Zurich, Stockholm Philharmonic and the San Antonio Symphony.

During Saturday evening's performance, Caballé-Domenech will be conducting the Overture from Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, as well as works by and Saint-Saëns and Berlioz.

Interestingly, this weekend also marks the one-year anniversary of the Philharmonic's announcement of the original five finalists. And in another odd coincidence, Caballé-Domenech's Saturday performance will take place on his 38th birthday.

More performance details, as well as audio clips of Saturday's repertoire, can be found here.

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