The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra Announces New Music Director

Earl Lee has been announced as the new A2SO Music Director. Photo courtesy of A2SO.

The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra (A2SO) has announced the appointment of conductor Earl Lee as the orchestra’s next Music Director. The culmination of a three-year international search that evaluated over 225 applicants, the announcement comes as the orchestra prepares to launch its 2022-23 season in September. 

The current Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Lee becomes the 14th Music Director in the A2SO’s 94-year history. A rising star in the classical music world, he was recently announced as winner of the prestigious 2022 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, the first musician of Asian heritage to receive the honor.

A2SO Executive Director Sarah Calderini remarks, “We’re thrilled by Earl’s appointment as the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra’s next Music Director, and look forward to authoring a new, groundbreaking chapter in the orchestra’s storied history. From our first discussions and rehearsals with Earl, it was clear that he was a musician and artist of uncommon quality, and I could not be more excited for the community and region to benefit from his leadership and vision.” 

For A2SO Board President Carol Sewell, the future of the Symphony is brighter than ever with Lee’s appointment: “Earl captivated the orchestra, board and audience from his very first baton stroke, and his interactions with all who came in contact with him affirmed this impression. We’re tremendously excited to be bringing international award-winning talent to Southeastern Michigan’s doorstep and can’t wait to kick off our season opener in September with Earl on the podium.” 

The opportunity to take the helm of one of Michigan’s premiere regional orchestras excites and inspires Lee: “When I was in Ann Arbor in April, I had such a wonderful time working with the musicians. A special spark was lit from the very first rehearsal, and I’m so proud of the music we got to share with the community of Ann Arbor in the concert hall. Even during the short period of a week spending time with the orchestra, staff and board members, it was clear to me that I wanted to do something here with this group and become a part of this community. Thank you so much for your open arms as I join the A2SO family, and I look forward to sharing many years of great music together.” 

Lee’s first performance as Music Director of the A2SO will take place on September 9th, 2022, as he opens the Symphony’s new season at Hill Auditorium with a concert of Carlos Simon’s This Land,

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with pianist Inon Barnatan.  Information on that performance can be found HERE.  

Launching their 94th season, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra (A2SO) is one of the Midwest’s leading symphony orchestras, creating live, orchestral music for more than 70,000 listeners each year. They engage with the community through innovative and imaginative concert programming, educational programs, radio broadcasts, recordings, and online streaming activity. To find out more about the orchestra’s upcoming concerts and initiatives, visit www.a2so.com.

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