News & Info

Monday, June 25, 2012

On June 25, 2012 the Colorado Symphony announced the appointment of Andrew Litton to the role of Artistic Advisor. Litton previously served as Music Director for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 1994-2006 and is currently Music Director for the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway, a post he’s held since 2003. He joins the Colorado Symphony’s current artistic leadership staff, including Resident Conductor Scott O’Neil and Duain Wolfe, founder and director of the Colorado Symphony Chorus and director of the Chicago Symphony Chorus. Litton’s three-year appointment as Artistic Advisor begins Sept. 1, 2012.

As Artistic Advisor, Litton will assume the full duties and responsibilities for the artistic leadership of the Colorado Symphony. President and CEO, Gene Sobczak, states, “Acknowledging the artistic excellence of the orchestra during this recent time of organizational change, Litton’s appointment as Artistic Advisor will advance the musicians’ ongoing development as one of the country’s finest professional symphony orchestras.”

"Though I was not looking for a formal relationship with another orchestra at this time, my decision to assume the role of Artistic Advisor of the Colorado Symphony was made simple for me,” states Litton. “It’s all about the relationship with the musicians. This is a very special group of players with an exceptional level of positive energy, dedication, and an intensity that I treasure. We enjoy a great relationship and a vital common vision to make the best possible music for the people of Denver and Colorado. While I can’t fulfill the obligations of another music directorship right now, the perfect compromise is to assume the role of Artistic Advisor and is my dream come true.”

The role of Artistic Advisor is not uncommon among major professional orchestras. Peter Oundjian, former Colorado Symphony Principal Guest Conductor and current Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, acted as Artistic Advisor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. "This is fantastic news for the Colorado Symphony,” states Oundjian. “Andrew is a brilliant conductor and musician, and he will infuse new energy into an already great orchestra.  As Artistic Advisor, he will provide solid and inspired leadership in both programming and artistic excellence. I am personally thrilled for all the musicians and all music lovers." In addition, Leonard Slatkin, current Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Orchestre National de Lyon in France, held the post of Artistic Advisor of the Nashville Symphony from 2006 to 2009.

Jerome H. Kern, Co-Chair of the Colorado Symphony Board of Trustees, says, “To have Andrew join the Colorado Symphony as an artistic leader comes at exactly the right moment in time with our orchestra playing at such an extraordinary level. The combination of his influence, inspiration and experience with the talent and artistry of the orchestra positions the Colorado Symphony for even further greatness.”

The Colorado Symphony has been engaged in a music director search since the departure of Jeffrey Kahane at the end of the 2009-10 season. Kahane continues to guest conduct and perform with the Symphony.
Additional comments on Andrew Litton’s appointment as Artistic Advisor

“I couldn't be happier about our new relationship with Litton,” states Scott O’Neil, Resident Conductor for the Colorado Symphony. “Having assisted all of the guest conductors we've had in the past several years, I believe that Andrew’s extensive experience and artistic acumen will be indispensable in this orchestra's next phase of growth.”

Bill Hill, Principal Timpani and Chair of the Colorado Symphony Music Director Search Committee, echoed O’Neil’s remarks. “We are extremely pleased and excited to have Andrew as our Artistic Advisor. He has always been a musician favorite as an inspiring conductor and a great person to work with – a combination that produces quite spectacular performances. His presence as our artistic leader immediately enhances the organization’s international stature,” says Hill.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper acknowledges Litton’s appointment, saying, “We’d like to congratulate the Colorado Symphony. The appointment of Andrew Litton will certainly contribute to the cultural impact the symphony has on our community. We are looking forward to their performances and the upcoming season.”

“Enhancing Denver’s thriving arts and culture sector will ensure that we deliver world-class amenities for everyone who lives, works and plays in the city. This sector plays a key role in making Denver an exciting and vibrant epicenter for the arts,” says Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “With Andrew Litton at the helm of the Colorado Symphony as Artistic Advisor, I know this cultural institution will only improve its already enriching entertainment and build on a tradition of musical excellence.”

About Andrew Litton
Andrew Litton guest conducts the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies and has a discography of over 100 recordings, including a Grammy® and other honors. In 2003, he became the first American Music Director appointed to Norway’s Bergen Philharmonic. He is also currently the Artistic Director of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest, and Conductor Laureate of Britain’s Bournemouth Symphony.

Mr. Litton’s recordings include a Grammy®-winning Belshazzar’s Feast with the Bournemouth Symphony and baritone Bryn Terfel, a Grammy® nominated Sweeney Todd with the New York Philharmonic and Patti Lupone, and numerous recordings in a dual role of pianist conducting from the keyboard.  Mr. Litton’s Mendelssohn Symphony series with the Bergen Philharmonic won one of BBC Magazine’s coveted annual awards and special recognition in Gramophone and Classic FM magazines.

Mr. Litton was Principal Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony from 1988-1994, bringing it on its first American tour and producing 14 recordings, including the Grammy®-winning Belshazzar’s Feast.  Music Director of the Dallas Symphony from 1994-2006, he hired over one third of the players, led the orchestra on three major European tours, appeared four times at Carnegie Hall, created a children’s television series broadcast nationally and in widespread use in school curricula, and produced 28 recordings.  Mr. Litton’s Dallas Symphony Rachmaninov Piano Concerto recordings with Stephen Hough, widely hailed as the best since the composer’s own, won the Classical Brits/BBC Critics Award.

A graduate of the Fieldston School, New York, Litton received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Juilliard in piano and conducting. The youngest-ever winner of the BBC International Conductors Competition, he served as Assistant Conductor at Teatro alla Scala and Exxon/Arts Endowment Assistant Conductor for the National Symphony under Rostropovich. His many honors include an honorary Doctorate from the University of Bournemouth, Yale University’s Sanford Medal, and the Elgar Society Medal.
Litton lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

About the Colorado Symphony
The region’s only full-time professional orchestra, the Colorado Symphony embraces a tradition of musical excellence by presenting a diverse array of symphonic performances throughout the year. Originally established in 1989 as the successor to the Denver Symphony, the Colorado Symphony thrives on a spirit of collaboration among musicians, staff, trustees and the community. The Colorado Symphony performs in Boettcher Concert Hall and On Location throughout the state and region utilizing small ensembles to the full-sized orchestra. Programs include expanded education and outreach initiatives, as well as Masterworks, Pops, Holiday, Family, Inside the Score and Symphony on the Rocks series that have attracted an ever-increasing level of concertgoers. By presenting music that is both timeless and inspiring, while taking risks with new musical collaborations and interactive concerts, the Colorado Symphony is committed to reaching global audiences with the use of state-of-the-art digital media via live streaming and concert downloads.
For more information about the Colorado Symphony, visit

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