(Orlando, FL) Monday, May 4, 2015 | 7:30 PM EDT – Today, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra announced it has appointed New-York-based conductor and cellist Eric Jacobsen as its Music Director, following a two-year, international search.

Jacobsen, 32, is the co-founder Artistic Director of innovative NY-based orchestral collective The Knights. Hailed by The New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” he has built a reputation for engaging audiences with innovative and collaborative projects. He tours frequently as a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, and is also a founding member of genre-defying string quartet Brooklyn Rider. Jacobsen will serve as the Orlando Philharmonic’s artistic leader and primary conductor beginning in 2015-2016.

“Eric is exactly the musician to lead the Philharmonic into the future” said Orlando Philharmonic Executive Director David Schillhammer. “His artistic vision, his passion for both traditional and new symphonic works, and his collaborative spirit embody what we want the orchestra to be for this community.”

The Philharmonic announced its decision Monday evening at an invitation-only event, held at the Philharmonic’s future headquarters, The Plaza Live Theatre in Orlando. Jacobsen was present to discuss his artistic vision, unveil the 2015-2016 season, and socialize with over 750 guests. There, he expressed his excitement about the City Beautiful:

“From the first day I arrived in Orlando, I knew I wanted to find my place in this vibrant and beautiful city,” he said. “The continued building of a great orchestra goes hand in hand with the continued building of Orlando—a city already rich in culture and art.”

Jacobsen has been working with the Orlando Philharmonic’s artistic team since early April to plan its 2015-2016 season, during which he will conduct programs on the Classics, Focus and Opera Series. Orlando’s first opportunity to see Jacobsen this season will be as cellist during the Philharmonic’s Sounds of Summer concert, “Once More, With Feeling” on July 2 at The Plaza Live Theatre. Tickets will be available beginning May 26. The regular season for the orchestra begins October 10, and Jacobsen’s “Music Director debut weekend” will be October 22-25, with fundraising events and two concerts. Subscriptions to the Philharmonic’s 2015-2016 season go on sale June 1, and regular tickets go on sale September 1. Visit or 407-770-0071.

During the 2014-2015 season, the Orlando Philharmonic’s Music Director search engaged thousands of community members, including orchestra musicians, audience members, community leaders, volunteers, staff and members of the orchestra’s board, who were invited to participate in events and submit feedback. Jacobsen spent two weeks auditioning with the Orlando Philharmonic this winter, conducting two public concerts and meeting with various constituencies. Eric Jacobsen was the recommendation of all 12 search committee members—six of them orchestra musicians. The Orlando Philharmonic’s Board of Directors voted unanimously in March to appoint Jacobsen.

“Our goal was to provide the orchestra and the community the opportunity to work with five outstanding candidates, all of whom shared our values and passion for excellence in music making,” said RK Kelley, Co-chair of the Music Director Search Committee. “Through that audition process, we saw where chemistry and ‘fit’ felt best. Eric Jacobson scored exceptionally high marks across the board, with all of our constituencies, demonstrating a passion for artistic excellence, and a dedication to community collaboration.”

Other finalists in the Orlando Philharmonic’s search included Alondra de la Parra, Steven Jarvi, Dirk Meyer and Leslie B. Dunner. The Philharmonic’s former Music Director, Christopher Wilkins, served from 2005-2013. Prior to Wilkins’ 8-year tenure, the orchestra was lead by Hal France (2001-2005).

Celebrating its 23rd season in 2015-2016, The Orlando Philharmonic is Central Florida’s professional orchestra, comprised of accomplished musicians recruited from around the world. Presenting over 125 events each year, the orchestra provides captivating musical experiences and education programs to people of all ages, and is committed to building a rich, sustainable future for symphonic music in Central Florida. Learn more at

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