The Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra announced five finalists for the Music Director position during a press conference on Monday.
One of the five finalists will succeed Maestro Alfred Savia, starting in the 2020-21 season.
Here’s a look at the five finalists:
Laura Jackson is currently in her 10th season as music director of the Reno Philharmonic. She guest conducts nationally and internationally – with recent performances in Euguene, Hartford, Charlottesville, Hawaii, Flint, the Philly POPS, and L’Orchestre symphonique de Bretagne in France. From 2004-07, she served as the first-ever female assistant conductor of the Atlanta Symphony. She studied conducting at the University of Michigan and spent summers at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood Music Center in 2002 and 2003.
Scott Seaton is in increasing demand internationally after he won the INTERAKTION competition in Berlin. He also was a semi-finalist in the 2012 Sir George Solti International Conducting Competition in Frankfurt, Germany. He’s currently in his third season as Music Director of the North State Symphony. From 2012-15, he was the Music Director of the Minot Symphony Orchestra in North Dakota. Originally from Nashville, Seaton has earned degrees from the Universite de Montreal, the New England Conservatory, and the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University.
Michelle Merrill served four years as the Associate Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, where she also carried the title of Phillip and Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador. Merrill serves as Music Director of the Coastal Symphony of Georgia. Her most recent and upcoming engagements include the ORchestre National d’lle-de-France, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, and many more. Born in Dallas, she studied conducting at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts.
Charles Latshaw is in his second season as Music Director of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra in Arizona. He also holds a position as Music Director of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra in Colorado. He’s also been the director of the Kent Blossom Music Festival and the Kent State University Orchestra, and he used to be the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra in Indiana. Latshaw holds a master’s and doctorate degree in instrumental conducting from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
Roger Kalia is a three-time recipient of The Solti Foundation US Career Assistance Award. He’s currently in his first season as Music Director of Orchestra Santa Monica. He was also recently promoted to the position of Associate Conductor of Pacific Symphony, after serving as Assistant Conductor for three seasons. Upcoming and recent engagements include the Szczecin Philharmonic (Poland), Wheeling Symphony, Lima Symphony Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony, Bakersfield Symphony, Camarada Chamber Orchestra, Great Falls Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, and Adrian Symphony, along with the National Symphony and Chicago Sinfonietta. Born and raised in New York, he holds degrees from Indiana University, the University of Houston, and SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music.