Stéphane Denève to succeed MTT as conductor of the New World Symphony

By Lawrence A. Johnson

The New World Symphony announced Friday that Stéphane Denève would be the next artistic director of the Miami Beach orchestral training academy, succeeding founding AD Michael Tilson Thomas. The appointment is effective immediately for a five-year contract through the 2027-2028 season.

The selection of the 50-year old Frenchman was an inspired choice. Deneve is a first-class conductor who brings an infectious enthusiasm and charisma to his music-making, comparable to his celebrated predecessor. In his many concerts with the New World Symphony fellows, he has shown himself a wonderful teacher, communicator and mentor to the young musicians, able to establish close rapport in the short weeks of guest conducting.

“The New World Symphony, for over 35 years, has been at the forefront of musical education and has built a groundbreaking tradition of re-imagining the future of our art form, pushing boundaries with passion, curiosity and open-mindedness, “ said the French conductor in a released statement.

“It is with great joy and a humbling sense of purpose that I am joining today the family of the New World Symphony, making it now my mission to continue the inspired dream of its founder and guiding soul, Michael Tilson Thomas,” said Denève of his new role. “I can’t wait to share my experience, enthusiasm and love for music with all the talented NWS Fellows. I would like to thank ‘de tout coeur’ Michael for his generous endorsement, Will Osborne, NWS President and CEO Howard Herring, and the whole team of the NWS for inviting me to be their new Artistic Director.”

Denève is currently music director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and will be principal guest conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic from 2023. He recently concluded terms as principal guest conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra and chief conductor of the Brussels Philharmonic.

“It is a great pleasure to welcome my friend and colleague, Stéphane Denève, to the New World Symphony family,” said Michael Tilson Thomas in a released statement. “I’m delighted that such a devoted, enthusiastic, and internationally recognized musician has agreed to take up the musical leadership of the New World Symphony,”

“When Ted and Lin Arison and I started the New World Symphony 35 years ago, we hoped that we were creating an institution that would continue to grow, evolve and serve the musical community and the public. It was our profoundest belief that our success would be measured by how much attention we could devote to each Fellow who came through the program. With over 1,200 alumni sharing their art and a strong and vital future secured for the institution, I feel we have realized our dream. How reassuring to know that Stéphane Denève will carry that dream forward. Bravo and congratulations!”

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Fri Sep 30, 2022
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