Lakeside Chautauqua names Daniel Meyer as Lakeside Symphony Orchestra Music Director & Conductor

Posted on October 09, 2018

This summer, the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra (LSO) brought multi-generational crowds to their feet with exciting and engaging performances led by six guest conductors from across the country. Beyond the stage, these conductors discussed their passion for symphonic music and visions for the future direction of the LSO. The energy was sustained throughout the summer with buzz on the street as audiences shared their concert experiences.

After reviewing hundreds of survey responses and comments from musicians, staff and the community, we are thrilled to announce Daniel Meyer as the next Music Director & Conductor of the LSO.

In crafting his repertoire, Meyer conducted the “Tales by the Seaside” concert on Aug. 7, which featured soloist Isabelle Durrenberger playing "Concerto for Violin in E-flat Major" by Vivaldi and "Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso" by Saint-Saëns. The concert was one of the highlights of an amazing season, which drew new audience members and was awe-inspiring to longtime Lakesiders.

“We are thrilled that Daniel Meyer will be our next Conductor,” said Lakeside Chautauqua President & CEO Kevin Sibbring. “His passion, energy and precision in conducting capitalized on the orchestra’s skilled musicians and drew praise from a broad Lakeside audience. His creativity, innovation and commitment to excellence will further elevate our arts and classical music programs for years to come.”

Meyer’s Background
As Music Director of the Erie Philharmonic, Artistic Director of the Westmoreland Symphony, and Director of Orchestral Activities at Duquesne University, Meyer has reinvigorated orchestras with his engaging presence and keen musical intellect.

In recent seasons, he has frequently conducted the Rochester Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony, as well as held guest positions with the Indianapolis, Columbus, Phoenix and Knoxville Symphonies.

Meyer’s critically-acclaimed European debut took place with Germany’s Staatstheater Stuttgart Orchestra and violinist Thomas Zehetmaier. Soon after that performance, he returned to Germany for concerts with the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen and to Austria to perform with the Tonkünstler Orchestra and the Wiener Jeunesse Orchestra.

Upon the invitation of Mariss Jansons, Meyer was named Resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony and Music Director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony, where he served until 2009.

He worked closely with Manfred Honeck, Mariss Jansons, Sir Andrew Davis and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, led the Pittsburgh Symphony on tour, and conducted performances with Pinchas Zukerman, Sarah Chang and Marvin Hamlisch. He also led the world premiere of Richard Danielpour’s “Pastime,” a co-commission of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Atlanta Symphony and the Brooklyn Philharmonic.

In addition to his duties at Lakeside, Meyer will return to conduct the Pittsburgh Symphony this year and record the music of Hanson, Diamond and Daugherty for Bavarian Radio with the Bamberger Symphoniker. He is also continuing a recording project of the concertos of Lynn Purse at Duquesne University, will debut with Symphony Silicon Valley and return to Cleveland’s BlueWater Chamber Orchestra in a three-concert partnership.

“I am deeply honored and excited to serve as the next artistic leader of the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra,” said Meyer. “From the first moment that my family and I stepped onto the grounds this past summer, we felt welcomed into Lakeside's special community. I am excited to have been entrusted to continue the tradition of making symphonic music a critical part of what Lakeside has to offer every summer. Together with the staff and musicians, I look forward to finding ways to make classical music even more vital to every person who steps onto the grounds at Lakeside.”

A native of Cleveland, Meyer studied conducting at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. He is a graduate of Denison University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He composed and conducted works for ensembles at both schools, including a Stabat Mater for soprano, chorus and orchestra. At Boston University, Meyer received the Orchestral Conducting Honors Award and earned the prestigious Aspen Conducting Prize from David Zinman. He received an honorary doctorate last year from Edinboro University.

Selection Process
Lakeside welcomed five of the guest conductors to ‘audition’ for the artistic leadership position of the symphony, each of whom was highly qualified and brought extensive experience to Hoover Auditorium. Each candidate selected a different classical and pops repertoire to engage Lakesiders of all generations.

LSO musicians provided critical feedback about the style and performance of each conductor, and the entire community was invited to interact and evaluate each applicant. This feedback was combined with staff and search committee reviews. The selection process was challenging based on the well-qualified pool of candidates.

“What a blessing it is for our community to have a wonderful symphony made up of talented and dedicated musicians who give their all year after year,” said Shirley Stary, Lakeside Chautauqua Vice President of Arts Programming. “This year was exciting but also challenging for our musicians as they shifted gears with a new guest conductor every few days. I’m very proud of what they accomplished together, and I know the audiences were extremely impressed by the performances. I look forward to this next chapter for the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra.”

Lakeside’s management also graciously acknowledges longtime LSO member John Gordon Ross for the time and energy he invested as the Interim Music Director for the 2018 season. His leadership was instrumental in guiding the LSO through this transformational season.

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