Alondra de la Parra to Conduct Orlando Philharmonic’s Season Opener

Mexican-born de la Parra is one of five finalists in the orchestra’s international Music Director Search, and will conduct Mahler Symphony No. 1

This month, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will open its concert season with Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, performed under the baton of Mexican-born conductor Alondra de la Parra, one of five international finalists auditioning to be the Philharmonic’s next Music Director.

At 34 years old, de la Parra has gained widespread attention for her spellbinding and vibrant performances, making her one of the most compelling conductors of her generation. She holds the distinction of being the first Mexican woman to conduct in New York City, and is an official Cultural Ambassador of Mexico. She has been heralded by Plácido Domingo as “an extraordinary conductor.” After her successful debut with Orchestre de Paris, Le Monde expressed: “There is no doubt that, with Alondra de la Parra classical music has arrived into the 21st Century.” Frequently in demand as guest conductor, de la Parra has led some of the most prestigious orchestras of France, Germany, USA, Japan, Brazil, Sweden, Russia.

Orlando audiences might remember de la Parra’s appearance conducting Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 with the Orlando Philharmonic in April 2011. About that concert, Examiner.com raved “Her sweeping arm gestures, expressive body language and a confident command brought out the best of the orchestra.”

Also on the Philharmonic’s opening night program are Mozart’s “Paris” Symphony and Mexican composer Arturo Márquez’s Danzon No. 2.

“I like programs that have this contrast—this fight between pieces,” said de la Parra about the program. “I love to see each member of the audience leave the hall thinking, ‘I really loved this piece, and I really didn’t like this other one.’ Then my mission is accomplished. When you have a lot of the same, it tends to be boring, so I like these contrasting, fighting type programs. And although they are contrasting, I see a line mending these three pieces together—youth, discovery, and dreaming.”

The sole performance will be Saturday, September 20 at Bob Carr Theater, 401 W. Livingston Street, Orlando, beginning at 8:30 p.m., preceded by a pre-concert conversation with Alondra de la Parra at 7:30. Tickets are $20-$71, available at OrlandoPhil.org or 407.770.0071.

The Orlando Philharmonic’s international Music Director search was announced in the spring of 2013. Following a 12-month process screening over 275 candidates, a search committee of orchestra musicians and community members chose five finalists to conduct the 2014-2015 Classics Series. Additional Music Director finalists include: Steven Jarvi of the St. Louis Symphony, conductor and cellist Eric Jacobsen, the Duluth Superior Symphony’s Dirk Meyer and former Music Director of Joffrey Ballet, Leslie B. Dunner. The Classics Series and Music Director search are sponsored by FAIRWINDS Credit Union.

Each finalist will spend a week or more in Orlando, rehearsing with musicians, meeting with the orchestra board, staff and volunteers, attending events with arts and community leaders, and conducting one of the orchestra’s five Classics Series programs. Following all five visits, the search committee will make an official recommendation to the board, who will announce the orchestra’s new Music Director in spring 2015. Audiences can learn more about the candidates and the search at OrlandoPhil.org/Search.

Now in its 22nd season, the Orlando Philharmonic is Central Florida’s resident professional orchestra, comprised of accomplished musicians recruited from around the world. The Philharmonic inspires audiences with over 125 musical experiences annually, ranging from classical and chamber music concerts to pops performances, staged opera productions, outdoor concerts and education programs for all ages. Learn more at www.OrlandoPhil.org | @OrlandoPhilOrch |www.facebook.com/OrlandoPhilOrch