June 1, 2012
ETSO Selects Richard Lee As New Conductor
Christopher R. Vinn

The search for the next East Texas Symphony Orchestra conductor has ended. The organization announced at a Thursday morning press conference that Richard Lee will step up to the podium.

The selection process lasted nearly a year-and-a-half as the field was narrowed from an initial 170 applicants to five. Input from a range of sources was considered during the selection, including from ETSO musicians and audience members. East Texas Symphony Orchestra Association President Greg Smith said the decision was across-the-board in favor of Lee.

"In polling of every constituency we had, the search committee, board of directors, patrons, audiences, one candidate won out over all others making him truly a collective and unifying choice," Smith said. "I think it's wonderful and exceedingly rare when that happens."

ETSO Executive Director Nancy Wrenn said Lee was a perfect fit due to his natural ability to "be a bridge builder."

"He not only is well-credentialed and well-educated in classical music, but he knows how to be a people person, and there are very few out there like that," she said. "To me he is the perfect (medium) between the older generation and the younger generation of conductors that he sees it as it should be in a new era."

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