BEETHOVEN’S NINTH SYMPHONY

Conductor Alexander Mickelthwate takes the baton to lead the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra’s season finale performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

On April 7th and 8th, the Boise Philharmonic performs its season finale and concludes its year-long search process by welcoming the final of seven candidates competing to fill the position of Music Director.

Conductor Alexander Mickelthwate brings his energetic style to lead the Boise Philharmonic in a quasi all-Beethoven program including one of the most famous works ever written, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, with the rousing Ode to Joy chorus. This choral symphony features the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale as prepared by Dr. Jim Jirak, BPMC Music Director with soloists Lara Ciekiewicz, soprano; Kathryn Leemhuis, mezzo-soprano; Brian Cheney, tenor; and Timothy Jones, baritone. The program also includes Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 2 and “Inspiring Beethoven” by American composer Kevin Puts. It was inspired by, well, Beethoven and moves the concert into the 21st century.

Conductor Alexander Mickelthwate, is currently the Music Director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Since his appointment in 2006, Alexander has played a pivotal role in the development of the orchestra, which culminated in a highly successful and critically acclaimed performance at Carnegie Hall in May 2014 as part of the Spring For Music festival. The New York Times noted the performance was “conducted expertly” and the New York Classical review stated “under music director Alexander Mickelthwate, they play with excellent intonation and such a fine overall blend and balance of sound that, on their own terms, they may be the best orchestra to appear in the week’s worth of concerts.”

Concerts begin at 8:00 pm on Friday, April 7th at NNU Brandt Center and Saturday, April 8th at the Morrison Center in Boise. Tickets prices start as low as $21 plus tax and fees. Call the Boise Philharmonic offices at 344-7849 or choose your seats online at boisephil.org.

Audience members can further enhance their musical knowledge and enjoyment of this performance by attending “Musically Speaking” at 7:00 pm before each concert. This lively, pre-concert conversation hosted by Jamey Lamar is designed to provide insight into the composers and works to be performed as well as their social and historical impact. Attendance is free to all concert ticket holders and is encouraged.

“Backstage with the Artist” provides another opportunity for music lovers to delve deeper into the music. Join the Boise Philharmonic Friday, April 7th at 12:00-1:00pm in the Philharmonic rehearsal Hall located at the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy for a stimulating conversation with the Music Director candidate, Boise Philharmonic musicians, and guest artist. Admission is free.


Additional Information About Alexander Mickelthwate
German Conductor Alexander Mickelthwate is the Music Director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Since his appointment in 2006, Alexander has played a pivotal role in the development of the orchestra, which culminated in a highly successful and critically acclaimed performance at Carnegie Hall in May 2014 as part of the Spring For Music festival. The New York Times noted the performance was “conducted expertly” and the New York Classical review stated “under music director Alexander Mickelthwate, they play with excellent intonation and such a fine overall blend and balance of sound that, on their own terms, they may be the best orchestra to appear in the week’s worth of concerts.”

Alexander began his career in North America as Assistant Conductor with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and then Associate Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Essa-Pekka Salonen. He has guest conducted the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Houston Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Milwaukee Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic and Toronto Symphony amongst others.

Alexander gave his European debut was with the Hamburg Symphony in 2006. He has also conducted the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and NDR Hannover. Other notable performances include the Sao Paulo Symphony and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra in Venezuela. He made his Australian debut with the Adelaide and Tasmanian symphony orchestras where he recorded the Mozart piano concerti Nos. 7 and 10 with the Silber Garburg Duo.

For three years Alexander created the critically acclaimed Indigenous Festival. Passionate to connect with all cultures he created artistic collaborations between the First Nations and Western cultures that culminated in the performances of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Revueltas’ Les Noches de los Mayas with new choreographies of contemporary and First Nations dance.

Born and raised in Frankfurt Germany to a musical family, Alexander received his degree from the Peabody Institute of Music. He studied conducting under Fredric Prausnitz and Gustav Meier as well as with Seiji Ozawa, Andre Previn, Daniel Barenboim and Robert Spano at Tanglewood.

About Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale
The Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale (BPMC), led by Dr. James Jirak, is an auditioned chorus of more than 100 singer volunteers, which has provided the greater Boise area with choral master works since 1975. The inaugural concert that year was a performance of Handel’s Messiah with the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra! In addition to performing with the Philharmonic, the Chorale has also collaborated with other area arts groups including the Boise Baroque Orchestra, Ballet Idaho, Idaho Dance Theatre, Opera Idaho Children’s Chorus, Treasure Valley Concert Band, Boise State University Symphonic Orchestra, as well as other local choruses. The Chorale has performed numerous times for Boise Music Week and has invited area high school singers to participate as part of an educational outreach effort.

About the Music Director Search Process
The Boise Philharmonic’s year-long quest for new artistic leadership is spearheaded by the Music Director Search Committee. The Committee is composed of 6 musicians chosen by the orchestra from within its ranks, and 6 board members and other community leaders. Over 200 applications were received from conductors across the United States and from 22 countries around the world. The Committee carefully screened these applications, assessing the candidates’ credentials and how their expertise melded with the artistic vision of the Boise Philharmonic. This winnowing process eventually produced 16 semi-finalists, and after carefully checking references and interviewing each candidate, the seven finalists were chosen.

During every candidate’s week in Boise, they will be intensively interviewed and assessed by the orchestra, Philharmonic staff, members of the audience, and the Search Committee itself. As an audience member, you can offer your opinions via a printed ballot inserted in the program book, on the BPA website, or by using your smart phone to click on the QR Code linking directly to our online ballot.

We have seven amazing and gifted Music Director candidates. The choice between them will not be easy, but with everyone’s input, the Boise Philharmonic will welcome its new Music Director for the 2017-18 season!

About Boise Philharmonic
As one of the region’s premier arts organization, the Boise Philharmonic’s mission is to musically enrich, entertain and educate through community engagement and music performance of the highest level. The Boise Philharmonic performs for more than 50,000 people annually in concerts at the Morrison Center, Brandt Auditorium in Nampa, various schools, and smaller recital halls and venues. The 80 member professional orchestra performs 16 Classic Series and 6 Chamber Series concerts per season. For more information, visit boisephil.org.

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