Tom Bolton, Past President of Asheville Symphony, said. “I am most appreciative of Daniel Meyer’s ability to draw a new audience to the Asheville Symphony, particularly with the diversity of Asheville’s Cultural Community. He has strengthened musical education in the area in many ways, but particularly with the highly attended lectures at the Reuters Center at UNC-A when guest artists discussed their programs for the next concert. At times, there have been well over 300 attending these. We are going to miss him and will remember him fondly, with all hopes and knowledge that his future and career will flourish. I only hope that the incoming finalist will be able to continue on this path of excellence.”
The Musicians, Staff and Board all chipped in to give Meyer a gift, a very fine book on instrumentation and orchestration by Hector Berlioz. They presented it to him at the concert this last Sunday. This is a variant of the first edition printed in 1855, and the book is considered a textbook on the craft of orchestration. There was a standing ovation for Daniel Meyer by those in the audience, and a reception was held for him after the program.
At the last minute a guest pianist had to stand in for the program of Beethoven’s E-flat Major, the “Emperor.” Yefim Bronfman was unfortunately unable to attend. Marc-Andre Hamelin took his place at the last minute and did a magnificent job. Hamelin is known worldwide for his consummate musicianship and brilliant technique.
For the coming year, the finalists, who were selected by a search committee, will be coming to Asheville to conduct one of the symphony’s 2017-2018 concerts. There will opportunities for the public to meet and greet each finalist, and the ASO will also survey the audience at each concert to gather feedback. The ASO expects to announce its new music director in mid-2018. The six finalists are Rei Hotoda, Darko Butorac, Garry Walker, Nicholas Hersh, Jayce Ogren and Jacomo Bairos. Rei Hotoda, who has recently been named the director of the FresnoPhilharmonic, will give the first master concert on October 21, 2017. Sandeep Das, a tabla player and proud winner of a 2017 Grammy Award, will perform a piece with the orchestra that night as well.