The Boise Philharmonic Welcomes Conductor Michelle Merrill to Lead the Orchestra Performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto

BOISE, Idaho (October 2016) – Ton October 21st and 22nd, the Boise Philharmonic continues its year-long search process and welcomes the second of seven candidates competing to fill the position of Music Director. Michelle Merrill, who currently serves as Associate Conductor of the Detriot Symphony Orchestra, will lead the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra performing one of the best known of all violin concertos, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, featuring GRAMMY-nomiated violinist, Caroline Goulding.

For nearly a decade, the virtuoso violinist Caroline Goulding has performed with the world’s premier orchestras, in recital and on record, blossoming from the “precociously gifted” (Gramophone) child who made her solo debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at age 13 to “a skilled violinist well on her way to an important career” (Washington Post).

The orchestra will also perform the Berlioz Roman Carnival Overture and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.

Regarding the chosen repertoire, Merrill said, “The true driving force behind the selections for this concert was my desire to explore the range of human emotion. The Berlioz Roman Carnival Overture is fiery and ferocious at the beginning, leads into the sweet song of love, and ultimately ends in a frenzy of colorful activity. With the Beethoven Violin Concerto, we are refined, perfectly executed and dignified, and then we let our hair down a little for the dancing final movement, a playful and spirited rondo which showcases the violinist’s technical prowess. And finally with Tchaikovsky’s foreboding Fourth Symphony, we come to the darker side of the human psyche, where we wrestle with the meaning of life, fate, the melancholy call of what lies beyond, and a triumphant declaration of resistance, albeit with a twinge of questioning at the end. I am excited to take you on this journey of the human spirit, and glad you will be joining us for the ride.”

Concerts begin at 8:00pm on October 21st at NNU Brandt Center in Nampa and 8:00pm on October 22nd at the Morrison Center in Boise.

Enhance your concert experience
“Backstage with the Artist” is back by popular demand! Join us every concert week Friday at 12:00am-1:00pm in the Philharmonic rehearsal Hall located at the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy for a stimulating conversation with the Music Director candidates, Boise Philharmonic musicians, and our featured guest artists performing in the upcoming concerts. On Friday, October 21, at “Back Stage with the Artist” you can meet our second of seven candidates competing for the position of Music Director and guest artist Caroline Goulding. Feel free to stop by the Boise Philharmonic offices at the same time and place for tickets to any of our upcoming concerts. Admission is free.

Enhance your musical knowledge and enjoyment of each performance further by joining us before each concert at 7:00pm for “Musically Speaking”. 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.

Ticket packages are available now
Full Season Subscriptions and Season Flex Packages for reserved seating are on sale now and can accommodate even the busiest of schedules. Beyond hearing all the great music, other benefits of subscriptions are; money savings, scheduling flexibility, reserved seating, and more. Tickets prices start as low as $21 plus tax and fees. Call the Boise Philharmonic at 406-344-7849 or purchase online at

About Michelle Merrill
Rapidly rising conductor Michelle Merrill is currently Associate Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra where she also serves as the Phillip and Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador. A passionate and dynamic artist, Ms. Merrill was recently named as one of Hour Detroit Magazine’s 3 Cultural Organization Leaders to Watch, and made her classical subscription debut with the DSO in April 2016. She is also a recipient of a 2016 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award.

Recent and upcoming engagements include the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Toledo Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera, Orlando Philharmonic, New Music Detroit, and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, where she formerly served as Assistant Conductor before coming to Detroit. As the Assistant Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, she helps plan and conduct over 30 concerts per season, including the renowned educational webcasts, which have reached over 100,000 students to date in classrooms throughout the nation. Ms. Merrill also gives pre-concert lectures, leads adult music education seminars, engages with students in and around Metro Detroit, speaks on behalf of the DSO throughout the community, and participates in hosting Live from Orchestra Hall, the DSO’s free concert webcast that launched in 2011 and is now watched in more than 100 countries.

She was awarded in 2013 the prestigious Ansbacher Conducting Fellowship by members of the Vienna Philharmonic and the American Austrian Foundation, which enabled her to be in residence at the world-renowned Salzburg Festival. Recent praise came from her classical debut with the DSO conducting Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6: “from the off this was a heavenly ‘Pastoral’…Merrill (conducting from memory) certainly has an ear for focused inner parts, and her meaningful flexibility was welcome…There was something reassuringly old-world about this performance (reminding of but not emulating such views of the music as Böhm, Boult and Klemperer) yet with a New World bloom that trod freshly-mown grass and also looked skywards…”

A strong advocate of new music, Ms. Merrill recently collaborated with composer Gabriela Lena Frank and soprano Jessica Rivera on Frank’s work La Centinela y la Paloma (The Keeper and the Dove), as a part of numerous community programs related to the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Born in Dallas, TX, Ms. Merrill studied conducting with Dr. Paul C. Phillips at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts, where she holds a Master of Music Degree in conducting and a Bachelor of Music in performance. Apart from music, she loves cooking, running, hiking, and spending time outdoors with her husband, Steve Merrill, who serves as the principal percussionist of the Jacksonville Symphony.

About Caroline Goulding
Named “precociously gifted” by Gramophone magazine, violinist Caroline Goulding has appeared as a soloist with many of the world’s premier orchestras including The Cleveland Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Berlin’s ensemblemini, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She has appeared in recital at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, the Tonhalle-Zurich, the Louvre Museum, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

The 2015-2016 season brought forth engagements in Asia, Europe, and North America with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Dortmunder Philharmoniker, Houston Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, and New West Symphony. Her upcoming recital CD release with pianist Danae Dörken including works by Schumann, Enescu, and Dvořák.
Caroline is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a Grammy nomination for her debut album on the Telarc label and has appeared on NBC’s Today, Martha hosted by Martha Stewart, Germany’s Stars von Morgen hosted by Rolando Villazón and can be heard on NPR’s Performance Today and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Currently studying with Christian Tetzlaff at the Kronberg Academy, Caroline splits her time between Kronberg, Germany, and Boston, Massachusetts. Other musical mentors have included Donald Weilerstein, Paul Kantor, Joel Smirnoff and Julia Kurtyka.

A past member of the Stradivari Society, Caroline currently plays the General Kyd Stradivarius (c 1720), courtesy of Jonathan Moulds.

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

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