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Reno Philharmonic passes the baton – Laura Jackson named new conductor

laurajacksonThe Reno Philharmonic Orchestra introduced its newest leader this week with the naming of Laura Jackson as conductor. Jackson brings a diverse background and an impressive resume.

Most recently, Jackson served as assistant conductor/American conducting fellow with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. She has held several orchestral as well as academic posts, and has served as a guest conductor with numerous first-rate orchestras.

“Whenever you work with an orchestra, there’s always a chemistry element, and you never know what that’s going to be,” Jackson told the Reno-Gazette Journal. “With this orchestra, I felt an immediate chemistry. I really, genuinely mean that. I sort of fell in love. I felt that they were very willing to play with their entire soul. They put everything they had into it.”

In choosing Jackson, the Reno Philharmonic performed an extensive search, and showcased the five finalists during a program called “Last Conductor Standing.”

Jackson is the fourth conductor to lead the Reno Philharmonic, and the first woman. For more information on concerts and tickets, visit the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra online.

Reno Chamber Orchestra opens season with Schwantner’s ‘Chasing Light…’

In addition to cultural events like the month-long Artown celebration each July, the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival and Broadway comes to Reno, Reno, Sparks and Lake Tahoe is also home to an orchestra that brings a flavor of metropolitan life to the eastern Sierra.

Now the Reno Chamber Orchestra has achieved another distinction as a genre powerhouse, selected to present the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Joseph Schwantner’s ‘Chasing Light…’

The performances will take place at the University of Nevada’s Nightingale Concert Hall on Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. ‘Chasing Light…’ was commissioned and will be performed by 58 orchestras in all 50 states through Ford Made in America, a partnership program of the League of American Orchestras, Meet the Composer, and the participating orchestras.

“We are honored to be the lead orchestra in the largest commissioning consortium in the history of American orchestras,” said Scott Faulkner, the orchestra’s executive director. “It is a rare honor for the RCO and a wonderful opportunity for our community to experience the birth of a piece of music by one of the world’s great composers.”

If you are able to make it to this opening performance of the orchestra’s 2008-2009 season, it is well worth the effort.

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