PSO announces their new Music Director

News from our friends at the Portland Symphony Orchestra: 


It is with great excitement that we announce Eckart Preu (pronounced EK-ART PROY) as Music Director of the Portland Symphony Orchestra, beginning a three-year contract with the 2019-20 season. He won the position after a comprehensive search that included over 240 highly-qualified candidates. His artistry on the podium, his connection with our community members, and his music director experience made him an ideal fit for the PSO.

During this search, the Search Committee was guided by input from musicians, patrons of concerts and events, staff, and Trustees. Each finalist in this search process received several opportunities to engage with these groups on stage, at community events, and private donor functions.

While Preu will become the music director for the 2019-20 season, he will be conducting a Sunday/Tuesday classical performance on January 27 and January 29, 2019, as the PSO’s music director designate.

From the Portland Press Herald: 

In a phone interview, Preu said he felt a connection with the orchestra as soon as he began rehearsing with the musicians, during his auditions with the PSO as part of the search for Moody’s replacement and also in 2011 when he came to Portland as a guest.

“There are things you cannot explain, what happens between the conductor and the orchestra. But something happened there,” Preu said. “We had an understanding, a musical understanding right away. When that happens, you are happy because you can communicate on a higher level than usual, and you can achieve things together in very nice and very rewarding ways.”

The orchestra has been on his mind since then, he said, and that’s what prompted him to apply for the job. “When I walked in there for the first rehearsal and subsequent rehearsal and concert, I felt the orchestra was a very giving and very dedicated orchestra, and a very good orchestra – an orchestra that cares – and what I felt this orchestra cared especially much about was the way they sounded. They were very open-minded and willing to try new things.”

You can read the full Portland Press Herald article here. More information about the upcoming PSO season is below.