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Kenneth at the helm of county-based orchestra
A NEW face will lead the English Symphony Orchestra in their forthcoming season.
Kenneth Woods has been promoted by the orchestra to the post of principal conductor, following his appointment as the artistic director of their Malvern-based subscription series in December.
Mr Woods, who is based in Cardiff, is the ESO’s first principal conductor since the passing of Vernon Handley in 2008.
Peter Sheeran, CEO of the orchestra, said: “We started exploring possibilities with Ken towards the end of last year, asking him to curate the Malvern concert series during 2013, at the end of which we planned to take stock.
“In the event, his involvement with the different elements that make up the ESO has been a shot in the arm for us and we see every reason to bring forward his appointment. We are announcing our new season next month and want to have Ken at the forefront of it.”
Mr Woods, who was previously principal guest conductor of the Orchestra of the Swan, said: “My colleagues in the ESO do the work they do in schools, care homes, hospices and on youth orchestra courses because they believe in it.
“The musicians have stayed loyal to the orchestra through the years because, as many of them have told me, it’s the orchestra they want to play in.
“What could be more exciting for a conductor than to work with colleagues who want to be there, who believe in everything the orchestra is doing?” The American previously served as music director of the Oregon East Symphony and he has been guest conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, State of Mexico Symphony, and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC.
He has recorded with the Northern Sinfonia and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and makes his first recording with the English Chamber Orchestra this month.
Details of the group’s 2013- 14 season will be announced in early September and will include a number of new initiatives, including debut performances in new venues and the appointment of a composer-in-association.
The autumn season will open on Friday, September 27, at Christ Church, Avenue Road, Malvern, with Mr Woods conducting a programme featuring the music of Mendelssohn and the Concerto for Cello and Strings by Hans Gál.
For more information, go to eso.co.uk.
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