For the last several weeks, 11 members of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra’s (CSO) Music Director Search Committee – comprised of four CSO musicians, four board members and three community stakeholders — have been evaluating the 130 applications to become the next CSO Music Director/Conductor.

“We are thrilled with not just the quantity, but also the quality of applicants who have applied for this position,” says Luci Snyder, CSO board member who heads up the selection committee. “These professionals are from all over the world and are truly impressive in their accomplishments. We have reviewed these submissions thoroughly and carefully, mindful of continuing the outstanding artistic reputation of the CSO as we move forward through this process.”

The 130 applications have been narrowed down to 25 based on review of a personal letter of interest from the candidate, a resume/cv, sample programs conducted by the candidate (including one educational program), and at least three professional references.

Among the qualities that the selection committee is focusing on are exceptional musicianship and conducting skills, as well as significant conducting experience and knowledge of a broad classical repertoire. The ideal candidate also will possess the ability to inspire and excite the musicians of the orchestra. In addition, a passion for music education; strong interpersonal, leadership, and communication skills and vision; and the ability to make symphonic music relevant and exciting for existing and new audiences through both traditional and innovative means are important attributes sought in the next music director.

These 25 semifinalists have been asked to supply written responses to questions that will enable the committee to better identify each candidate’s communication skills and programming philosophy.  Furthermore, the committee is reviewing video of each candidate conducting a live performance.

After reviewing all materials, 10 candidates will be identified for face to face interviews via Skype.  By the end of the year, the committee plans to have narrowed the field to three finalists who will be invited to audition as guest conductors in each of the spring CSO season concerts.

“We are very excited about the community as a whole — and our musicians in particular — being able to meet these finalists personally and experience them actually conducting the Carmel Symphony Orchestra,” says Snyder. “It provides us, our musicians, and the community a unique opportunity to get to know firsthand the person who will become the next Music Director of the CSO.”

As is the tradition with the CSO, the orchestra musicians will have “final say” regarding the choice of the new music director/conductor, voting for their choice after the conclusion of the season. The new conductor will begin his/her tenure with the 2017-18 season.