Winston-Salem Symphony Announces Five Finalists for Conductor Search Each Finalist Will Conduct a Classic Series During 2018–2019 Season

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (January 31, 2018) – The Winston-Salem Symphony announced the five finalists for its conductor search as well as its 2018–2019 season on Wednesday, January 31. As part of the upcoming season, the finalists for the Symphony’s Music Director position will each conduct a pair of Classics Series concerts, which will give the Symphony musicians, staff, board, and the community a chance to see the candidates in action. In addition, there will be opportunities to interact with the finalists. Throughout the 2018–2019 season, the community will play a key role in helping the Symphony decide who ultimately assumes the baton to lead the Winston-Salem Symphony into the future.

“We are extremely excited to introduce the finalists for our Music Director audition season to the community,” said E. Merritt Vale, Winston-Salem Symphony President & CEO. “Each candidate is highly accomplished as well as being charismatic, inspiring, and highly partnership oriented. The entire community is invited to join us in making this important choice by watching them each conduct, interacting with them in other settings, and then sharing your feedback—we need you to ‘play your part’ so we can make a well-informed decision about your next Music Director. It is going to be a very exciting season that helps the Symphony chart an exciting new course for the future and we can’t wait to share it with everyone!”

“I am exceedingly proud that I am able to ‘pass the baton’ to the next Music Director knowing that they are inheriting an orchestra that is in truly stellar shape,” said Maestro Robert Moody, Music Director for the Winston-Salem Symphony. “There is always more to be done, and I know that they will lead that charge with great vision and vigor. But the starting point for the new Music Director is already quite high, and that leaves me with the greatest amount of satisfaction and happiness. I wish each of the candidates, and ultimately my successor, all the best—one of them will be fortunate indeed to stand on this podium and be part of this very special community!”

Each candidate will conduct two classics concerts (Sunday afternoon and Tuesday evening), which will each feature a guest artist. The Conductor finalists will cover five of the six classics

series concerts for the upcoming season. The sixth concert will feature the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale, Director Dr. Christopher Gilliam.

In addition, the Symphony will offer five Plugged-in Pops concerts, which will be conducted primarily by Winston-Salem Symphony Assistant Conductor Jessica Morel. Plugged-in Pops concerts include the return of the popular Cirque de la Symphonie aerialists for A Carolina Christmas as well as music legend Ricky Skaggs, a New Year’s Eve concert, a celebration of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, and a concert featuring the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Woodstock with the Jeans n’ Classics Band.

Classics Series

Classics Location: Stevens Center of the UNC School of the Arts, 405 W. Fourth Street in downtown Winston-Salem.


Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.

Vladimir Kulenovic, Conductor · Julian Schwarz, Cello

C.M. VON WEBER Overture to Der Freischütz

SHOSTAKOVICH Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major

BRAHMS Symphony No. 3 in F Major

Vladimir Kulenovic conducts the Lake Forest Symphony on Chicago’s North Shore and served as Associate Conductor of the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. He also has been Resident Conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic and Principal Conductor of the Kyoto International Music Festival in Japan. Kulenovic studied at The Juilliard School, Peabody Institute and Boston Conservatory. For a full biography, please visit


Sunday, November 4, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.

Timothy Myers, Conductor · Dmitri Vorobiev, Piano

HIGDON Machine

MAZZOLI These Worlds in Us

RAVEL Piano Concerto in G Major

TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6 in B minor (Pathétique)

Timothy Myers, the Artistic and Music Director of North Carolina Opera for nearly a decade, also has a long affiliation with the Houston Grand Opera. Myers’s other recent engagements include the North Carolina Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Wexford Festival Opera and Curtis Opera Theatre. Myers studied at Florida State University and Southwestern College in Kansas. For a full biography, please visit


Sunday, January 6, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

Robert Franz, Conductor · Dovid Friedlander, Violin

BERNSTEIN On the Town: Three Dance Episodes

PROKOFIEV Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major

RACHMANINOFF Symphonic Dances

Robert Franz is Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra and is Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony. His guest conducting includes The Cleveland Orchestra and the Baltimore and St. Louis Symphonies. Franz received a Master of Music degree in conducting and a Bachelor of Music degree in oboe performance from the UNC School of the Arts. For a full biography, please visit


Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

George Jackson, Conductor · Clara Yang, Piano

LIGETI Concert Românesc (Romanian Concerto)

MOZART Piano Concerto No. 25 in C Major

DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 8 in G Major

George Jackson came to international attention conducting the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 2017 he made his Hamburg State Opera debut and earlier conducted the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Savannah Philharmonic, and the Aspen Summer Music Festival. He studied at the conservatories of Vienna, Weimar and Trinity College Dublin and the Lucerne Festival Academy. For a full biography, please visit


Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

Wait Chapel, Wake Forest University

Dr. Christopher Gilliam, Conductor · Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale


Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

Timothy Redmond, Conductor · Steven Moeckel, Violin

STRAVINSKY Pulcinella: Suite

BARBER Violin Concerto

SIBELIUS Symphony No. 1 in E minor

Timothy Redmond is a Professor of Conducting at the Guildhall School and a frequent guest conductor with the London Symphony and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras. He has conducted widely throughout Europe and the US with orchestras including the St. Louis Symphony and the Rotterdam Philharmonic. Redmond studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester University and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena. For a full biography, please visit

Plugged-In Pops Series

Plugged-In Pops Concerts Location: R.J. Reynolds Auditorium, 301 N. Hawthorne Road in Winston-Salem.


Saturday, November 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 25 at 2:00 p.m.

Jessica Morel, Conductor

Cirque de la Symphonie, Guest Artists

The Triad’s annual tradition continues with the return of Cirque de la Symphonie. Experience high-flying holiday delights as Cirque’s aerial acrobats perform stunning death-defying routines above the Symphony. Cirque will delight audiences young and old with brand new and expanded aerial acts this year, leaving your spirits soaring for the start of the holiday season.


Monday, December 31 at 8:00 p.m.

Sarah Hicks, Guest Conductor

Ring in the New Year with the Symphony! Enjoy an evening of traditional Viennese waltzes, upbeat standards, and other on-stage festivities as dynamic guest conductor Sarah Hicks leads the countdown to 2019. Sarah is an internationally recognized guest pops conductor who crosses the line between classical and popular music through her innovative concert programming and collaborations with Ben Folds, Smokey Robinson, and Sting, in which she served as the conductor during the last leg of his Symphonicities Tour in 2011.


Saturday, February 16, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

Jessica Morel, Conductor

Ricky Scaggs, Guest Artist

Enjoy an evening of bluegrass, gospel, Americana, and more as 15-time GRAMMY® winner and music legend Ricky Skaggs joins the Symphony for a special one-night only performance! Considered a “recognized master” of one of America’s most demanding art forms from the age of 21, Ricky will lead the Symphony on a musical journey through his greatest hits, beloved standards, and songs that have shaped his career and life.


Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

Jessica Morel, Conductor

Byron Stripling and Carmen Bradford, Guest Artists

Powerhouse trumpeter Byron Stripling and jazz vocalist Carmen Bradford’s chemistry lights up the Symphony stage as they take you on a journey through the most famous duets and solos recorded by two of jazz’s greatest legends. Byron and Carmen are a musical reincarnation of Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. Featuring hits from the Great American Songbook, they recreate one of the most memorable collaborations in music history while entertaining and capturing everyone’s heart along the way.



Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

Jessica Morel, Conductor

Jeans ’n Classics, Guest Artists

Fifty years ago, a generation flocked to Yasgur’s Farm, and the rest was history. Jeans ’n Classics returns to perform some of the best loved songs from Woodstock with the Symphony. Get yourself back to the garden with a night of music by rock legends Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Santana, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and many more. Tie dye and bell bottoms are welcome attire at this Woodstock 50th anniversary celebration!

Existing subscribers can renew their subscriptions now through April 17, 2018 by mail or by calling the Symphony Box Office at 336-464-0145. Those interested in becoming new subscribers can purchase subscriptions online now at or by calling the Symphony Box Office at 336-464-0145. Tickets to individual concerts will go on sale in early August.

Please note that all dates and programs are subject to change.

The 2018–2019 season will be sponsored by Season Presenting Sponsors BB&T and Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A., as well as generous funding from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, the North Carolina Arts Council, and other dedicated sponsors

About the Winston-Salem Symphony

The Winston-Salem Symphony, one of the Southeast’s most highly regarded regional orchestras, began its 71st season, which is Music Director Robert Moody’s Farewell Season, in September 2017. Under the baton of Maestro Moody, the season includes the Classics and Kicked-Back Classics series, Plugged-In Pops series, Discovery Concerts for Kids, annual performances of Handel’s Messiah, a concert featuring Winston-Salem Symphony and Youth Symphony musicians, holiday concerts, three youth orchestra ensembles, and a multitude of educational and community engagement programs. The Symphony is supported by Season Presenting Sponsors BB&T and Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A., as well as generous funding from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, the North Carolina Arts Council, and other dedicated sponsors. For more information, visit

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This project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

The Winston-Salem Symphony receives operational funding from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County

Educational initiatives made possible with funding by Wells Fargo, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and The Winston-Salem and Forsyth County Schools.