Mann the new man at the ASO | Rock Candy

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mann the new man at the ASO

Posted By on Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 10:25 AM


After a months long search, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra today announced that it has selected Philip Mann as its new music director. Currently an American Conducting Fellow and the San Diego Symphony's assistant conductor, Mann will join the ASO in October.

Full release after the jump. LITTLE ROCK, AR, April 1, 2010 – The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra announces Philip Mann as its new Music Director and conductor. Mr. Mann will step to the podium on the Robinson Center Music Hall stage beginning his tenure in October for the 2010-2011 concert season.

“I’m thrilled at the prospect of joining the ASO as it turns the page and embarks on a new chapter in its already celebrated history. The orchestra, with its talented, committed musicians, is poised to accomplish great things in Little Rock and beyond. It is a gem of which all Arkansans should be very proud, and I look forward to helping make this new era a special one indeed,” says Mr. Mann.

ASO Board Chair Martin Thoma said, “Philip Mann energized this community. Our audience, our players, our board...virtually everyone who interacted with Philip was excited about his impact and the prospect of him joining the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. I'm delighted that we've been able to recruit one of the symphony world's rising stars to Arkansas. It's going to be exciting to watch what Philip and our players can create together.”

Using musician and audience surveys collected after each candidate’s performance, Mr. Mann was unanimously selected by an eleven member search committee including ASO musicians, board members, and executive director. Mr. Mann’s appointment was also unanimously approved by the orchestra’s Board of Directors.

“At the heart of music making is collaboration, bringing together the voices of many different groups. Our new music director was selected very much in the same way. From our pool of nearly 200 candidates, Philip Mann rose to the top as the favorite of the musicians. During our week together I felt challenged to bring new sounds and ideas to the stage. I'm thrilled to get the opportunity to make great music with him again as the new music director of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.” Daniel Cline, President of the ASO Orchestra Committee.

Regarded by the BBC as a “talent to watch out for, who conveys a mature command of his forces,” Mr. Mann will begin a five-year contract with the ASO effective with the 2010-2011 season. During his inaugural season, Mann will conduct up to 15 weeks of concerts including the Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks and ACXIOM Pops! Live performances, Children’s Concerts and run-out performances throughout the state.

Christina Littlejohn, ASO’s Executive Director, said, “The most important part of the Music Director’s job is leading the orchestra and creating magic in the concert hall. Philip did that. His concert was inspiring, engaging and transforming. One audience member wrote, ‘I saw color, lights, felt it all.’ Another wrote, ‘I had to remind myself to breathe.’ I am so thrilled that Philip was just as enthusiastic about joining the Arkansas community as we were about him.”

Mr. Mann adds, “A life without music and the arts is not whole. Sharing music’s expressive powers, its meaning and relevance to all of us, and its capacity to change lives will be a mission that we will embrace energetically. We’ll strive to reach listeners in new ways, and attract ever greater numbers, including the young and those who have yet to set foot in a concert hall.”

Mr. Mann, currently an American Conducting Fellow and the San Diego Symphony’s Assistant Conductor, was one of five candidates vying for the position left vacant when Maestro David Itkin announced his departure after serving for 17 years.

“Comments from the audience members include: He makes the music come to life… I saw colors, lights, felt it all…It was an experience I’ve never had and one I shall always remember, adds Littlejohn. “In addition to his clear artistic leadership, Mann can communicate in a way that excites people of all ages to tryout symphony concerts and experience the transformative power of a live symphony concert. We are so excited to welcome Philip and his wife Tatiana Roitman Mann to Arkansas.”

About Philip Mann

Hailed by the BBC as a “talent to watch out for, who conveys a mature command of his forces,” American conductor Philip Mann is quickly gaining a reputation as a dynamic artist on three continents.

Currently, Mann is an American Conducting Fellow and the San Diego Symphony’s Assistant Conductor, where he has conducted over 150 performances of Jacobs Subscription Masterworks, Symphony Exposed, family, education, Kinder Konzert, pops, and other special programs. The winner of the Vienna Philharmonic’s Karajan Fellowship at the Salzburg Festival, Mann has also served as cover conductor for the Cleveland Orchestra and as the Schmidt Conducting Fellow of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Active in both symphonic and operatic repertory, Mann has served as music director of the Oxford City Opera, Oxford Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra/Oxford Pops, principal guest conductor of the Arizona Camerata, and assistant conductor of the Indiana University Opera Theater. He maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, with his New York debut at Avery Fischer Hall. As a proponent of new and American music, he has conducted numerous world premiers of prominent composers, including John Corigliano and worked with leading artists like Joshua Bell.

Elected a Rhodes Scholar, he taught at Oxford, and won the annual competition to become principal conductor of the Oxford University Philharmonia. Under his leadership, the Philharmonia received international attention, and the Swedish press acclaimed their Brahms Symphony No. 4 as “perfectly skillful…joyful… overwhelming.”

While in England, Mann studied with Alan Hazeldine of London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Colin Metters at the Royal Academy of Music, and Marios Papadopolous of the Oxford Philomusica. He worked with Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center’s National Conducting Institute and Michael Tilson Thomas at the New World Symphony. Mentorship with Esa-Pekka Salonen and Jorma Panula followed at the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Conducting Masterclasses. He has also worked under Imre Pallo, David Effron, John Poole, and Thomas Baldner at Indiana University where he was appointed visiting lecturer in orchestral conducting. Additional studies came under the Bolshoi Theater’s music director, Alexander Vedernikov at the Moscow State Conservatory, Gustav Meir, Kenneth Keisler, and with Pulitzer Prize winning composer Robert Ward at the Conductor’s Institute at Spoleto.

Trained as a violinist, Mann has appeared as a soloist, concertmaster, and chamber player in the US and abroad. He is the recipient of numerous awards including a commendation from the Lieutenant Governor of California, ASU Herberger College of Fine Arts Outstanding Graduate Award, and a service award from the mayor of the city of Chandler, Arizona.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 44th season in 2009-20010 under the leadership of Music Director David Itkin. The ASO is the resident orchestra of Robinson Center Music Hall, and performs more than thirty concerts each year through its Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series, ACXIOM Pops LIVE! Series, River Rhapsodies Chamber Series, and numerous special events including SuperPOPS!.

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