Today, the Orlando Philharmonic announced five internationally renowned conductors who will vie for the position of Music Director during the orchestra’s  2014-2015 season. The finalists, in order of appearance, are Alondra De la Parra, Steven Jarvi, Eric Jacobsen, Dirk Meyer and Leslie B. Dunner. The orchestra plans to appoint one of these finalists as its new Music Director in the spring of 2015.

The five finalists were chosen by a search committee comprised of orchestra musicians and community members who spent 9 months screening a slate more than 275 candidates from around the world. Each finalist will spend approximately one week with the orchestra between September and March next season, conducting at least one classical program and making various community appearances. Each finalist will be evaluated by the search committee based on feedback orchestra musicians, audience members, leaders in the community, and ultimately, the Philharmonic’s board of directors.


Conductor ALONDRA DE LA PARRA  has gained widespread attention for her spellbinding and vibrant performances, making her one of the most compelling conductors of her generation. She holds the distinction of being the first Mexican woman to conduct in New York City, and is an official Cultural Ambassador for Mexican Tourism. She has been heralded by Plácido Domingo as “an extraordinary conductor.” “De la Parra’s conducting style must be seen to be believed,” raved the San Antonio News Express. “Her electric, precise and energetic fluidity generated arches of breathtaking, glowing expression. The driving Beethoven rhythms pulled the audience to its feet at the end. If people still wore hats, they would have been tossed toward the theater’s night-sky ceiling.”

Praised for his “uncommonly expressive and detailed” performances by the Miami Herald and described as an “eloquent and decisive” conductor by The Wall Street Journal, STEVEN JARVI is recognized as one of America’s fastest rising conductors with an equal passion for the concert hall and the opera house. Mr. Jarvi is the newly appointed Resident Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony, Music Director of Winter Opera Saint Louis and the Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. He won the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Award in 2009 while the Associate Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony, and previously spent several years as the Conducting Fellow with Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, an Associate Conductor for New York City Opera at Lincoln Center, and Apprentice Conductor with the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Hailed by the New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” conductor and cellist ERIC JACOBSEN has built a reputation for engaging audiences with innovative and collaborative programming projects. As co-founder and Music Director of adventurous orchestra The Knights and a founding member of genre-defying string quartet Brooklyn Rider, he may take credit for helping to ensure “the future of classical music in America” (Los Angeles Times).

 German conductor DIRK MEYER is Music Director of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Sarasota Orchestra, following six successful seasons as Assistant Conductor and, later, Associate Conductor, during which he earned an outstanding reputation with musicians, audiences and critics, alike. He also served as Music Director of the Sarasota Youth Orchestras, whose first season under his baton culminated in a 2008 Carnegie Hall performance in New York City. He is founder of the Art Nouveau Chamber Orchestra.

American conductor LESLIE B. DUNNER has appeared with virtually every major orchestra in the U.S., and toured the globe with companies including The American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, London’s Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, Michigan Opera Theatre, The South African Ballet Theatre and The Dance Theatre of Harlem. His recently conducted production of William Grant Still’s opera Troubled Island with South Shore Opera Company was rated #1 by the Chicago Sun-Times in “Chicago’s best classical music/opera moments of 2013.” Dunner’s previous appointments include Music Director and Principal Conductor of Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet, assistant conductor to the New York Philharmonic’s Kurt Masur, Music Director of Canada’s Symphony Nova Scotia, Interim Music Director for the Orquestra Filarmonica de Jalisco, Mexico, 11 seasons with Detroit Symphony Orchestra and six years as Music Director of Annapolis Symphony Orchestra.



Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 8 pm

Alondra De la Parra, conductor

MOZART  Symphony No. 31, “Paris”
MÁRQUEZ  Danzón No. 2
MAHLER  Symphony No. 1, “Titan”


Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Steven Jarvi, conductor
Midori Goto, violin

WAGNER  Prelude to Act III of Lohengrin
SCHUMANN  Violin Concerto
BERLIOZ  Symphonie fantastique


Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 8 pm

Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Wu Man, pipa

DEBUSSY  Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun
JIPING  Concerto for Pipa and Orchestra


Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 8 pm
Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 2 pm

Dirk Meyer, conductor
Conrad Tao, piano

WEBER  Overture to Oberon
MOZART  Piano Concerto No. 21
Strauss  Der Rosenkavalier, Suite


Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 8 pm

Leslie B. Dunner, conductor
Rimma Bergeron-Langlois, violin

BARBER  Second Essay for Orchestra
SIBELIUS  Violin Concert
NIELSEN Symphony No. 4, “The Inextinguishable”


The Music Director provides leadership to the orchestra from on and off the podium. The Music Director is responsible for conducting performances and rehearsals, selecting programs for the season, supporting educational and outreach projects and serving as a community ambassador for the orchestra.

The Philharmonic’s current music director, Christopher Wilkins, was appointed in 2006 and will lead the orchestra through the end of his contract in August 2014. Prior to Wilkins’ 8-year tenure, the orchestra was lead by Hal France (2001-2005). For more information about the search, and each of the five finalists, visit orlandophil.org/Search

THE ORLANDO PHILHARMONIC has been Central Florida’s resident professional orchestra for over two decades.. Comprised of musicians recruited from around the world, the Philharmonic performs more than 125 concerts each year, ranging from classical, chamber and popular music to staged operas, education programs and concerts for the community. Learn more at orlandophil.org.