The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra announced the selection of the new Music Director. Dirk Meyer, currently the Associate Conductor of the Sarasota Orchestra, accepted the positions of Music Director Designate for the DSSO 2012 – 2013 season and Music Director for the 2013 – 2016 seasons. Meyer received his Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Philosophy from Universitat Duisburg in Essen Germany.
DSSO Board of Directors Chair, Mary Ann Ulishney, and Executive Director Rebecca Lynn Petersen made the announcement at a media briefing held June 20, 10 a.m. outside Symphony Hall in the DECC Lobby. “We are extremely excited to have Dirk join our symphony community. His creativity, outstanding musicianship, and commitment to our musicians and audience were evident from the start. He will be a true complement to the future of the DSSO,” commented Ulishney.
Search Committee Co-Chair, Claudia Scott Welty observed, “He impressed the search committee with his musicianship, his vision for the future and his eagerness to become fully engaged with the organization and the community. Markand Thakar has done an outstanding job of building our orchestra and we believe Dirk will continue to grow the quality and artistry of the DSSO.”
DSSO Concert Master and Search Committee co-chair Erin Aldridge said, “I am delighted that Dirk Meyer will be our new Music Director. His conducting is exciting and musical and I am really looking forward to working with him.”
Over 130 applications were received in the international search. Five finalists were chosen and incorporated into the 2011-2012 season which was their opportunity to audition for the position. Each candidate visited the DSSO twice, conducting both a Classical and a Pops or Family concert. “All of the candidates brought amazing talents and skill sets to the position. Meyer was the clear choice for this orchestra and this community,” stated Petersen.
Beginning with the 2013 – 2014 season, Meyer will become the full time Music Director with the DSSO. “After my first rehearsal with the DSSO I knew that the orchestra and I were a great fit.” He explained, “Communication flowed easily and it just felt right. I’m glad the feeling was mutual. It’s a true honor to have been selected as the next Music Director, especially considering all of the other talented finalists.”
Meyer expressed enthusiasm for the area, “After spending time in Duluth and Superior, I know what a magnificent place this is - from its natural beauty to all of the amazing people I have met. A community like this one deserves the best that the arts have to offer. I am looking forward to making inspiring music and to creating innovative programs that will engage our patrons and the community. I am simply thrilled to have this wonderful opportunity to work with the wonderful musicians and staff of the DSSO. Together, I know we will advance and grow this talented organization.”
Current Music Director, Markand Thakar, will serve as full time Music Director for the upcoming 2012 -2013 season.