The California Symphony found itself without a music director under some murky circumstances a couple years back. This season, they make lemonade with the situation, turning their concert series into an interviewing process for their next music director. The Search is On! Like Donkey Kong. It's not the Bachelorette, but seven eager young male suitors are competing for the position.
Walter Collins, the new executive director of the California Symphony explained why, after a two season hiatus, they're looking for a permanent maestro: "We believe it is integral to developing a cohesive sound and musical identity. The board articulated a strategic planning process. One of the goals was to become one of the finest regional orchestra in the US. One of the key tactics, was to hire a world class music director. We decided the 2012-13 would be our official music director search." If finest regional orchestra sounds like an oxymoron, then it's only appropriate the world's biggest little city native Donato Cabrera would apply.
This Sunday, he leads the orchestra in his attempt to woo the musicians, and be wooed by them in return. "It's like having fifty first dates at the same time," quipped Donato, "you hope for the best on both sides. They have a great lineup of young music director possibilities. That first rehearsal is full of great tension and expectation. It's a two way street. It's no everyone evaluating me. I want to be in the best situation myself. I want to have a good rapport with the musicians, the administration, the audience. It's not just me being on display."