Music Director Announced
Lancaster Symphony Orchestra Names Michael Butterman as its Next Music Director!
The Lancaster Symphony Orchestra has named Michael Butterman as the orchestra’s next Music Director. Following an extensive search lasting over two years, this news marks the second time in the LSO’s 75-year history that they’ve named a new Music Director. Butterman will begin his role as Music Director on July 1 and conduct four of the orchestra’s five Masterworks concerts starting in October of the 2022-2023 season.
“We are thrilled to announce Michael Butterman as our next Music Director and welcome him to our vibrant community. From our first rehearsals with Michael, it was clear he was a musician and artist of exceptional quality focused on engaging the entire community. I could not be more excited for Lancaster and our region to benefit from his leadership and vision,” remarked LSO Board Chair and Principal Cello, Sara Male.
The LSO received over 190 applications for the position and, with the help of its Search Committee, invited four finalists to conduct a week in Lancaster. Chair of the LSO’s Search Committee and Principal Bass, Brent Edmondson, explained, “Michael’s competition was fierce – we had three other extremely qualified finalists, each with compelling musical personalities. Michael’s deep background in community engagement, combined with his total technical control from the podium and charisma that connected with everyone in the LSO orbit, signaled a leader worthy of becoming our 3rd Music Director. In the end, the Board voted unanimously to support Michael’s candidacy, and we are excited to welcome this musical force to our unique home.”
Butterman is best known for his acclaimed work as Music Director of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra. He is also recognized for his 19-year association with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra as Principal Conductor for Education and Community Engagement and a 15-year tenure with the Jacksonville Symphony as Associate and then as Resident Conductor. Most recently, Butterman was named Music Director of the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra, a position he will begin alongside his role in Lancaster.
Butterman has enjoyed national prominence, including an invitation to bring the Boulder Philharmonic to open the Kennedy Center’s inaugural SHIFT Festival of American Orchestras in 2017, in recognition of the organization’s artistic excellence and innovative approach to audience engagement. As a guest conductor, Mr. Butterman has led many of the country’s preeminent ensembles, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and Houston Symphony.
Upon accepting the position as the Lancaster Symphony’s next Music Director, Butterman remarked, “I’m truly excited and honored by this opportunity. The LSO musicians play with a high level of technical and artistic polish, but even more important, they have a wonderfully collegial spirit about them that shines through in their performances. Together, we hope to help more and more people make a personal connection to the uplifting, inspirational experience of great orchestral music and to assure that the LSO is central to the cultural life of the community.”
As one of the country’s leading symphonic visionaries, Butterman’s appointment will help solidify and expand the Lancaster Symphony’s commitment to inviting and entertaining programming that uplifts the community, innovative educational and engagement programs, and collaborations with Lancaster’s many vibrant performing arts organizations. “In addition to Michael’s impressive experience, welcoming demeanor on the podium, and inventive – while remaining accessible – programming skills, he is also down to earth and lovely to work with,” stated Guy McIntosh, the Symphony’s Executive Director. “We will make a great team moving our organization forward, and I can’t begin to express how excited all of us at the LSO are to welcome Michael to Lancaster.”
Subscriptions to the LSO’s 2022-2023 Masterworks season are on sale now. An opportunity for community members to attend an exclusive Meet & Greet with Michael Butterman will take place on Saturday, July 16, 2022. Tickets and more information about this event and the LSO’s 2022-2023 Masterworks season are available through the LSO’s website lancastersymphony.org or by calling (717) 291-6440.
Making his mark as a model for today’s conductors, Michael Butterman is recognized for his commitment to creative artistry, innovative programming, and to audience and community engagement. He serves as Music Director for the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, whom he has led to national prominence, resulting in an invitation to open the Kennedy Center’s inaugural SHIFT Festival of American Orchestras in 2017. He is also the Music Director of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and. In 2022, he was appointed Music Director of the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra and the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra, following an extensive search spanning two seasons. Mr. Butterman recently completed a 19-year association with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra as their Principal Conductor for Education and Community Engagement, and a 15-year tenure with the Jacksonville Symphony, first as Associate, and then as Resident Conductor.
As a guest conductor, Mr. Butterman has led many of the country’s preeminent ensembles, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, Detroit Symphony and Houston Symphony. Other recent appearances include performances with the Fort Worth Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Hartford Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, California Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Spokane Symphony, El Paso Symphony, Mobile Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Pensacola Opera, Asheville Lyric Opera and Victoria Symphony (British Columbia). Summer appearances include Tanglewood, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Colorado Music Festival, and the Wintergreen Music Festival in Virginia. Guest appearances this season include the Lancaster and Williamsburg symphonies, and a residency at the North Carolina School of the Arts.
Mr. Butterman gained international attention as a diploma laureate in the Prokofiev International Conducting Competition and as a finalist in the prestigious Besançon International Conducting Competition. As the recipient of the Seiji Ozawa Fellowship, he studied at Tanglewood with Robert Spano, Jorma Panula, and Maestro Ozawa, with whom he shared the podium to lead the season’s opening concert. Earlier, Mr. Butterman was sponsored by UNESCO to lead the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Moldova in a concert of music by great American masters.
For six seasons, Mr. Butterman served as Music Director of Opera Southwest in Albuquerque, NM. During much of that time, he was also Director of Orchestral Studies at the LSU School of Music and was Principal Conductor of the LSU Opera Theater. Previously, he held the post of Associate Conductor of the Columbus Pro Musica Orchestra, and served as Music Director of the Chamber Opera, Studio Opera, and Opera Workshop at the Indiana University School of Music. As its Associate Music Director, he led the Ohio Light Opera through two festivals, conducting over 35 performances each summer.
At Indiana University, Mr. Butterman conducted a highly acclaimed production of Leonard Bernstein’s little-known 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in a series of performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, receiving unanimous praise from such publications as The New York Times, Washington Post, Variety, and USA Today. He was subsequently invited to New York at the request of the Bernstein estate to prepare a performance of a revised version of the work.
Michael Butterman’s work has been featured in a dozen nationwide broadcasts on public radio’s Performance Today. He can be heard on two CDs recorded for the Newport Classics label and on a new disc in which he conducts the Rochester Philharmonic and collaborates with actor John Lithgow.
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