Maestro Raymond Harvey
Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
Kalamazoo, MI - September 14, 2016 The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors and Raymond Harvey, Music Director, announce the transition of Maestro Harvey to Music Director Emeritus at the conclusion of the 2016-17 concert season.
Maestro Harvey has led the orchestra as its Music Director for the last eighteen years. For the past two years, Mr. Harvey has been Associate Professor and Music Director of the Moores Opera Center at the University of Houston. Mr. Harvey reflected, “Teaching has always been my calling, and my love of opera has been a mainstay in my life. To be asked to head a university opera program at this stage in my professional career is a terrific blessing.”
As Maestro Harvey finishes his time with the KSO to continue in his role in Houston, he will return to Kalamazoo once a year, in the role of Music Director Emeritus, to conduct a concert with the orchestra.
Mr. Harvey stated in a letter sent to donors, sponsors, and friends of the KSO, “It is with great regret that I need to designate the current season as my last as Music Director of the KSO. These eighteen years have been a joyous time for me, and I’m delighted that the KSO has asked me to become Music Director Emeritus, returning once a year to conduct a concert and reconnect with my friends. Please continue to support this marvelous organization and carry it forward in the years ahead. I will miss you all tremendously.”
Janice Brown, Chair of the Board of Directors, said, “The gift and legacy that Raymond leaves with this community will be treasured always. We are thrilled that he will return each year to reconnect with all of us. We are grateful that he’s been a great and true friend of the KSO.”
“Raymond Harvey has been an amazing asset for the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra during his eighteen-year tenure,” said Peter H. Gistelinck, President & CEO of the KSO. “We are honored and privileged that he now has accepted to transition into the role of Music Director Emeritus so that his important connection with the Kalamazoo community will be kept alive.”
Daniel Brier, Resident Conductor of the KSO, said, "It has been a great pleasure for me to work with Maestro Harvey over these past few seasons. His consistent artistry on the podium and his commitment to our community will be greatly missed.”
2016-17 will be a celebratory season, filled with opportunities to reflect on Maestro Harvey’s time with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and to celebrate the legacy that he leaves with our community.
Plans are already in the works to convene a search committee that will be tasked with finding Raymond’s successor. The search process will be by invitation only. Daniel Brier, our Resident Conductor, will provide continuity through this time of transition – working with the orchestra in his usual capacity but extending his time and talents as needed during the search process. We are confident that the new Music Director will join the committed team already in place to move the KSO forward in realizing its vision for the future, as laid out clearly in our important Strategic Plan.
Raymond Harvey Music Director, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
For more than 35 years, Raymond Harvey has made a significant impact as an American conductor of great skill and insight. Born in New York City, he studied piano and conducting, receiving Bachelor's and Master's degrees in choral conducting from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music; and then studied orchestral conducting at the Yale School of Music, earning Master’s and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees.
This season Maestro Harvey celebrates 18 years as Music Director of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. He previously held the top post at the Fresno Philharmonic (California), Springfield Symphony (Massachusetts), and El Paso Opera (Texas).
Maestro Harvey has appeared as guest conductor with many of America’s leading orchestras, including those of Philadelphia, Atlanta, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Buffalo, Detroit, New Orleans and Minnesota, as well as the New York Philharmonic’s Young People’s Concerts and the Boston Pops. He has also had engagements with the Maggio Musicale Orchestra of Florence, Italy, the Pusan Symphony of South Korea, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica. He regularly performs as a pianist, both in chamber music and as pianist/conductor in works of Gershwin, Mozart, and Rachmaninoff.
In addition to his commitment to Kalamazoo, Dr. Harvey has been named an Associate Professor at the University of Houston, where he serves as Music Director of the Moores School of Music opera department. His operatic repertoire is extensive, including favorites such as Carmen, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, Turandot, and Aïda; as well as the more rarely performed The Consul, The Rape of Lucretia, and Samson and Delilah.
The Kalamazoo community continues to embrace Raymond Harvey through appreciation of his compelling performances and engaging lectures.
By SWWS Symphony (@SWWSymphony)
By SWWS Symphony (@SWWSymphony)