Santa Fe man to head Fargo-Moorhead Symphony
The last candidate to audition for the job will be the new musical director of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony. Bernard Rubenstein, 65, of Santa Fe, N.M., accepted an offer Monday to head the orchestra, Executive Director Bill Law said. He was the fi...
The last candidate to audition for the job will be the new musical director of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony.
Bernard Rubenstein, 65, of Santa Fe, N.M., accepted an offer Monday to head the orchestra, Executive Director Bill Law said.
He was the fifth of five candidates to audition for the job over the course of this symphony season. He conducted the orchestra March 9 through 10.
He also had conducted the orchestra's annual Pizza Pop Concert last year.
"It's always a very, very gratifying and pleasant surprise to get positive news," Rubenstein said by phone Wednesday. "I thought my work was well-received when I was there. There were some wonderful conductors that were candidates. I'm just really honored."
He said Fargo-Moorhead has a very strong orchestra. "I just hope to work and consolidate this strength, to bring the skills I have as a conductor so the orchestra goes forward," he said.
Law said Rubenstein has long experience as a conductor, is an excellent musician, has interesting programming ideas and "also has time for us."
"Bernie's at a point in his career where he does not currently have another orchestra he's responsible for. He does a lot of guest conducting," Law said.
Rubenstein was music director of the Tulsa (Okla.) Philharmonic and associate conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He lives in Santa Fe, where he has worked as music director for two Santa Fe Opera productions.
He has wide international experience as well. The U.S. State Department chose him as a cultural specialist and he was sent to Mongolia to guest-conduct the first all-Asian performances of Gershwin's opera "Porgy and Bess." He served as music director of the San Juan (Puerto Rico) Symphony and has guest conducted around the world. He leaves next week for a month in Cuba, where he will conduct orchestras in Santiago and Havana.
The orchestra's board voted Sunday to hire Rubenstein unanimously on the first ballot, Law said.
Rubenstein said he probably will not return here until just before the orchestra's season starts in September, although he may come here in August for a retreat with the board.