New Music Director Announced at Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra

May 23, 2006 — The McIntire Department of Music at the University of Virginia recently announced the appointment of conductor Kate Tamarkin as the next Music Director and Conductor of the Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra. Ms Tamarkin was selected from a pool of 100 applicants from three continents, ending a far-reaching search. She will join the UVa faculty this fall and will begin leading the orchestra in the upcoming 2006-07 season. The orchestra’s season opening concerts will be October 7 and 8 at Old Cabell Hall.

Described by Leonard Bernstein as “extremely musical, a vivid personality, and a strong performer”, Kate Tamarkin recently completed five years as Music Director of the Monterey Symphony (California), during which the orchestra increased its’ artistic excellence and visibility. She has a distinguished national and international reputation as a conductor of orchestras at many levels: an Associate Conductor of the Dallas Symphony under Eduardo Mata; as music director and conductor of the East Texas Symphony, the Vermont Symphony and several other ensembles. Ms. Tamarkin has guest conducted some of world's leading orchestras and has been profiled on CNN and NBC's Today Show.

Bruce Holsinger, chair of the Music Department’s search committee, guided the process of reviewing over 100 applications and then selecting and auditioning four final candidates. “The search process was a thorough one with tremendous candidates,” Holsinger said. He stated some of the significant qualities of incoming Music Director Kate Tamarkin as including her national and international experience as a conductor, her outstanding teaching skills, and her notable administrative experience. As a faculty member in the music department, the Music Director must be a gifted teacher in addition to a gifted musician and conductor.

Executive Director Bill Martin added, “We are extremely fortunate and excited to have a conductor of Ms. Tamarkin’s caliber and reputation join our orchestra. Everyone has been impressed with the talents and experience she will bring, and her appointment promises a very successful future for our orchestra and for symphonic music in Charlottesville.”

Speaking of her appointment, Ms. Tamarkin acknowledged, “I am delighted to assume the Music Directorship of the Charlottesville and University Symphony, and to be joining the faculty of the University of Virginia. This is a unique orchestra with a wonderful tradition, and I look forward to building upon that fine legacy.”

Ms. Tamarkin’s recent conducting engagements include debuts with both the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (China), and the Summer Opera Theatre Company in Washington, DC. Highlights of recent seasons have included performances with the Edmonton Symphony (Edmonton, Canada), the Vermont Symphony, the Carolina Chamber Symphony, and the National Philharmonic of Moldova. Her guest conducting credits include a command performance for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; engagements with the symphonies of Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, San Diego, St. Louis, Pacific, Nashville, New Mexico, Quad Cities, Tucson, Dallas, Oklahoma City, El Paso, Billings and Fresno; Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival and the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina.

Kate Tamarkin holds a DMA from Peabody Conservatory of Music, a Masters of Music from Northwestern University, and a Bachelors of Music Education from Chapman University (CA); she comes to the University of Virginia from the Catholic University of America, where she has been an Associate Professor of Music and Director of Orchestras and Opera. Ms. Tamarkin will become the third Music Director in the Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra’s thirty-two year history, succeeding conductors Carl Roskott and Douglas Hargrave.

Conductor Michael Slon, who led the orchestra with much acclaim as Interim Conductor in the 2005-06 season, will return to direct the orchestra’s holiday concerts with the University Singers on December 2 and 3, 2006. He continues as conductor of the University Singers and UVa Chamber Singers. Also joining the orchestra in the 2006-07 season are new Concertmaster David Colwell and new Principal Cellist Iris Jortner.

The Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra has served the community and the University of Virginia for more than thirty years. At the heart of the orchestra is a unique collaboration between the community and the University, the most visible sign of which is the makeup of the orchestra itself: University students, gifted community players, and professional musicians working together to create the wonderful sound that has become the hallmark of the orchestra. The orchestra recently launched Fanfare for the Future, a campaign to add $3 million to the orchestra’s endowment that will support talented musicians, enhance programming, and expand the orchestra’s outreach programs in the community.