Marcelo Lehninger, who helped guide the New West Symphony (NWS) through its 20th anniversary celebration a year ago and who has been highly-praised for his conducting skills, will be concluding his tenure as music director at the end of the 2016 season, it was announced today.
“The New West Symphony is truly grateful for the dedication that Marcelo has brought to every performance since he joined us three years ago,” said Paul Finkel, New West Symphony board chair. “Marcelo is an exceptionally talented conductor and musician, and his contribution to the artistic growth of the symphony is truly remarkable. We look forward to seeing him on stage as a guest conductor in the future years and know his career will be filled with nothing but success and praise as he moves on to new creative challenges.”
Lehninger, only the second music director in the 21-year history of the orchestra, made his first appearance as a guest conductor in January 2011 and assumed his current role in September 2012.In 2014, the League of American Orchestras presented Lehninger with its prestigious Helen M. Thompson Award for Emerging Music Director for his work with the organization. Lehninger recently concluded an appointment as Associate Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He also enjoys a busy guest-conducting career around the world.
During Lehninger’s tenure at the NWS, the organization experienced many artistic highlights including innovative projects such as a YouTube competition for young vocalists, world and West Coast premieres and multi-media initiatives. In addition, Lehninger helped grow the NWS’s education program, leading the orchestra’s “Symphonic Adventures” concert program for students, as well as a side-by-side concert with the Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra. The symphony’s most recent concert, “Scottish Fantasy,” included Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture accompanied by a stunning photo presentation of Scotland by renowned National Geographic photojournalist Jim Richardson.
“Marcelo’s positive impact on our organization and on the cultural growth of the community will be felt for years to come,” said Natalia Staneva, New West Symphony Executive Director. “Under his tenure the orchestra’s enthusiasm and collaboration with staff and our boards have been greatly enriched. Marcelo has brought a positive attitude to every engagement, and his genuine respect for musicians enabled them to perform at a high level.”
“My four years with the New West Symphony came at the perfect time in my career, and I learned a lot working with these great musicians,” said Lehninger. “I am grateful to the New West Symphony for this opportunity, and wish the orchestra continued success.”
The final concerts of the 2016 season will begin in January with a performance featuring the music of Gershwin & Ravel. Among other events is the annual Poinsettia Ball fundraising gala onDecember 4 in Westlake Village, California. Tickets remain available for all events and may be obtained at www.newwestsymphony.org.