You'll want to reserve some time around Christmas to see him off.
Steve Larsen has been the director of the Rockford Symphony Orchestra since 1991. The city's orchestra, incorporated in 1943, has only named 4 directors in its history, naming Larsen director in 1991.
Side note: I loved and had never heard this anecdote from the Wikipedia page:
Charles Bornstein was named the Music Director of the orchestra (1986). Bornstein's tenure was not without controversy. While his artistic vision for the orchestra was certainly high, many felt that he lacked "people skills" in dealing with orchestral personnel. There was, during this time, a large attrition rate of long term orchestra members.
I need to know some of the stories of what he did to orchestra members. If you have a story, please reach out.
RSO has been very successful under the tutelage of Larsen. Their list of accomplishments since 1991 include:
- 2016, Illinois Conductor of the Year
- 2009, General Manager of the Year
- 2008 Programming of the Year
- 2007, Illinois Orchestra of the Year
- 2006. Illinois Conductor of the Year
- 1999. Illinois Conductor of the Year
- 1992, Illinois Orchestra of the Year
Larsen announced a few years ago that he would be retiring soon and was nice enough to join the show to preview how his career would end.
Then the pandemic happened and plans were scrapped.
Today, the RSO released a statement saying that Larsen had extended his contract and would direct three last concerts before retiring at the end of the year. All performances will be at the Coronado.
Where To Catch A Final Performance:
- The Last Night of the Proms (October 23, 2021) The first concert will be an encore of the popular 2019 concert featuring a program of orchestral finales, popular music, and sing-a-longs done in the style of the BBC Proms.
- The Nutcracker (December 4, 2021) Larsen will again be leading the RSO as the musical accompaniment to this Rockford tradition.
- Holiday Pops (December 18, 2021) This will be Larsen's final concert at the podium and will include moving traditional and inspirational holiday music. The Holiday Pops will also feature the Nielsen Chorale.
Tickets for Fall RSO concerts are on sale now and available at www.rockfordsymphony.com.
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