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Former RPYO Trombonist Ward Stare Sprints Up the Conducting Ladder

May 29, 2008

25-Year Old Appointed Resident Conductor of Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra

Rochester, NY – Less than 10 years ago, Ward Stare was a senior at Pittsford Mendon High School, balancing his student activities with his position as principal trombonist of the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.  Fast forward to May 2008, when the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) announces the appointment of Mr. Stare to its newly created position of Resident Conductor as well as Music Director of the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra.

“From the time we first auditioned him, it was very clear that he was an extraordinarily musical person, and his curiosity about all forms of orchestral music was insatiable,” notes RPYO Music Director David Harman.  “It’s especially wonderful that such a fine performing musician is being nationally recognized for his work as an orchestral conductor.  We are proud to have played a part in his musical development.”

According to the SLSO, Mr. Stare was selected from among more than 250 candidates from across the United States and from a wide pool of highly qualified international applicants.  SLSO Music Director David Robertson added that Stare “combines a deep talent with a vast experience of orchestral music despite his relatively young age.”  As resident conductor, Mr. Stare will lead Family concerts, Kinder Konzerts, Young People’s and Young Adult Concerts and Holiday Concerts.  In addition, he will conduct Community Concerts in Powell Symphony Hall and throughout the region, and in 2009-10, will conduct a week of subscription concerts.  As the youth orchestra music director, he will be responsible for selecting players, conducting rehearsals and three concerts, as well as conducting additional run-out concerts each season, calling on his RPYO Principal Trombone experience from 1996-1999.

Mr. Stare is currently the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s League of American Orchestras’ Conducting Fellow.  He is the recipient of both the Robert J. Harth Conductor Prize (2006) and the Aspen Conducting Prize (2007) at the Aspen Music Festival and School.  He was trained as a trombonist at the Juilliard School, and at the age of 18, was appointed to the post of Principal Trombone of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.  He made his conducting debut in 2004 at the age of 22 leading the Concertante di Chicago ensemble.  In August 2007, Stare made his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at the famed Blossom Music Center and the same year, was guest conductor of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra as part of its North American tour.  Upcoming conducting appearances include concerts with the UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra at the Festival del Sole in Napa Valley, concerts as assistant to David Zinman at the Aspen Music Festival and School and a debut concert with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester in Berlin, assisting Sir Andrew Davis as second conductor.

On a related note, the Saint Louis Symphony’s new principal violist is Jonathan Vinocour, a former 5-year RPYO member and principal violist who graduated in 1997 from Brighton High School.

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