Illinois Symphony Orchestra Announces Music Director Search Finalists Four Candidates to Conduct the Illinois Symphony Orchestra during the 2023-2024 Season

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The Illinois Symphony Orchestra (ISO) announces four finalists in its music director search who will lead the ISO during the 2023-2024 season. The finalists are: Yaniv Dinur, Music Director of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra and Resident Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; Taichi Fukumura, Assistant Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra; Tania Miller, Music Director Emerita of Canada’s Victoria Symphony and interim Principal Conductor of the Rhode Island Philharmonic; and Naomi Woo, Artistic Partner, Orchestre Metropolitan, Montreal. The search process is scheduled to culminate with the appointment of the ISO’s next music director in the spring of 2024.

The finalists were chosen through an extensive search process, which began in January 2023. Led by co-chairs Daniel Brownstone, M.D. of Bloomington, IL and Dr. Patricia Rushing of Springfield, IL, the search committee is comprised of ISO musicians, board members and community leaders from throughout central Illinois. Ken Lam, the ISO’s Artistic Advisor and former Music Director advised the committee.

Co-chair Daniel Brownstone said, “We were impressed by the diverse pool of candidates who applied for our Music Director position. After an intense review process, the search committee identified this impressive slate of finalists. I am thrilled at the prospect of what next season will bring!” Co-Chair Patricia Rushing added, “The members of the search committee unanimously favored the finalists, inclusive of musicians of the ISO. We look forward to our central Illinois communities welcoming these exceptional candidates, who will not only lead the orchestra but will also be actively involved in community appearances, special events and education programs in both Bloomington/Normal and Springfield as part of the selection process.” Amanda Hudnall, Second Clarinetist and Search Committee member said, “This upcoming season will be a treat with the opportunity to experience these four finalists’ unique musical personalities on the podium!”

The candidates will lead the following concerts during the 2023-2024 season:

Illinois Symphony Orchestra - Taichi Fukumura
Friday, October 20, 2023 @ 7:30 PM              UIS Performing Arts Center, Springfield, IL
Saturday, October 21, 2023 @ 7:30 PM           ISU Center for the Performing Arts, Normal, IL

Illinois Symphony Orchestra - Yaniv Dinur - (NEW Date)
Saturday, November 4, 2023 @ 7:30 PM         ISU Center for the Performing Arts, Normal, IL
*Sunday, November 5, 2023 @ 3:00 PM         UIS Performing Arts Center, Springfield, IL
*Note: Springfield concert takes place on Sunday afternoon.

Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestra - Naomi Woo
Friday, December 1, 2023 @ 7:30 PM             First Presbyterian Church, Springfield, IL
Saturday, December 2, 2023 @ 7:30 PM         Second Presbyterian Church, Bloomington, IL

Holiday Pops in the Heartland - Taichi Fukumura
Friday, December 15, 2023 @ 7:30 PM           UIS Performing Arts Center, Springfield, IL
Saturday, December 16, 2023 @ 7:30 PM       ISU Center for the Performing Arts, Normal, IL

Illinois Symphony Orchestra Family Pops - Yaniv Dinur - (NEW Date)
Friday, January 26, 2024 @ 7:30 PM                UIS Performing Arts Center, Springfield, IL
Saturday, January 27, 2024 @ 7:30 PM            ISU Center for the Performing Arts, Normal, IL

Illinois Symphony Orchestra - Tania Miller
Friday, February 16, 2024 @ 7:30 PM             UIS Performing Arts Center, Springfield, IL
Saturday, February 17, 2024 @ 7:30 PM          ISU Center for the Performing Arts, Normal, IL

Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestra - Tania Miller
Friday, April 12, 2024 @ 7:30 PM                   First Presbyterian Church, Springfield, IL
Saturday, April 13, 2024 @ 7:30 PM                Second Presbyterian Church, Bloomington, IL

Illinois Symphony Orchestra - Naomi Woo
Friday, May 3, 2024 @ 7:30 PM                       UIS Performing Arts Center, Springfield, IL
Saturday, May 4, 2024 @ 7:30 PM                   ISU Center for the Performing Arts, Normal, IL

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra is central Illinois’ largest professional orchestra serving over 35,000 patrons in the communities of Bloomington-Normal, Springfield and the surrounding region with symphony orchestra, chamber orchestra, and Concerts for Kids series in each community. In addition to concert performances, the Orchestra's music education and outreach programs serve pre-K and elementary schools through the Itsy Arts and Music Matters education programs and reach middle schools, high schools, universities, community organizations and senior centers through guest artist residencies and musician and ensemble performances. The ISO also has an active Around the Town Chamber Music Series and virtual Sunday at Six Recital Series. The Illinois Symphony Orchestra has a budget of approximately $1.3 million.

In July 2020, the ISO acquired the Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony (SVYS) organization that was started in the early 1970s by parents, music teachers and musicians to keep string programs and youth orchestra in Springfield and surrounding communities following the elimination of all school orchestra programs. Now, the Illinois Symphony Youth Orchestras (ISYO) programs consist of Starter and Junior Strings, Preparatory Orchestra, Concert Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra serving over 150 students. The ISO also has a partnership in education and community engagement (PEACE) with the UIS-School of Music and Illinois State University’s Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts and School of Music.

Additional information about the Illinois Symphony Orchestra is available at

The ISO is partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.


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