Talking With The New RPO Music Director

Jul 29, 2014

(Watch an interview WXXI's Randy Gorbman did with Ward Stare just after his appointment as the new RPO Music Director was announced at City Hall)

After 18 months of searching and interviews, the RPO has a new music director.  

His name is Ward Stare, and he has ties to the Rochester region. The 31 year old is a Pittsford native, a graduate of Pittsford Mendon High School who also played trombone with the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra at the age of 11, later going on to Juilliard, and eventually, even at his very young age, to conducting opportunities around the world. He is currently a frequent guest conductor at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

In terms of his vision for the kinds of music the RPO will play, Stare sees a mixture of old and new.

"I look forward to investigating more opportunities for world premieres and for commissioning young composers especially, but also looking at the old classics and finding a way that we can put our own stamp on it and find our own style and our own sound together."

Credit Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

RPO Board Chair Dawn Lipson says they had a lot of candidates to consider, but says that Stare really stood out especially in terms of his guest conducting with the Rochester Philharmonic.

'When he came and he conducted here we could see very clearly he had strong attachments to the musicians, he understood them. He was able to speak to them and get a good performance out of them.”

The RPO has not had a music director since Arild Remmereit's contract was terminated a year and a half ago. Stare will start his new post September 1st, and will conduct two concerts in the upcoming season, and then a full schedule the following season.