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  • WDCH
  • May. 7, 2004
  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor Joins Los Angeles Philharmonic in the 2004/05 Season

    Conductor Alexander Mickelthwate has been named assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, beginning with the 2004/2005 season. Mickelthwate was selected through a competitive process that included over 150 applicants from around the world. The field was narrowed to eight final candidates who were invited to conduct the orchestra in a live audition. Mickelthwate starts his two year appointment in the fall.

    "With the new Walt Disney Concert Hall, the revitalized Hollywood Bowl, and the organization's forward-thinking programming, the Los Angeles Philharmonic is one of the most exciting orchestras in America right now," said Mickelthwate. "I'm thrilled to be a part of the artistic synergy at the heart of this great orchestra."

    "There is a real vitality and a probing musical mind behind Alexander's conducting," says Deborah Borda, President of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. "His experience conducting in Atlanta, as well as his passion for new music and opera, will serve him well as he joins our team at the Philharmonic."

    In his first season as assistant conductor, Mickelthwate will lead many of the Philharmonic's education and community programs, as well as conduct the November 2004 Green Umbrella series concert. He will conduct other concerts as scheduled, including subscription concerts at the world renowned Hollywood Bowl, the Philharmonic's summer home. Mickelthwate will serve as the cover conductor for Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen or visiting conductors throughout the orchestra's subscription season and on tour. In
    addition, he will serve as a member of the planning team for the educational series, Toyota Symphonies for Youth.

    Mickelthwate is currently in his third year as assistant conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra where he conducts Classical Season, Young People's, touring, and parks concerts. In addition to his ASO duties, he serves as co-artistic director and conductor of the Atlanta-based contemporary music ensemble "Bent Frequency," which he co-founded in May 2003, and is a member of the conducting faculty at Kennesaw State University in Georgia and visiting artist at Georgia State University. Last summer he was Conductor in Residence and Director of Conducting Studies for the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Tennessee.

    Among his upcoming conducting engagements are programs with the Houston Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Virginia Symphony and the Berlin Youth Symphony, Germany; he has been also been reengaged as a guest conductor for a subscription week with the Atlanta Symphony and for their new series "Symphony 360."

    Mickelthwate was born in Germany into a musical family. His interest in music developed early as he played cello (in youth orchestras and chamber groups), piano (winning prizes for accompaniment), and organ, and visited composition classes at the Frankfurt Conservatory. He studied conducting and piano performance at the Musikhochschule in the city of Karlsruhe, where, while still a student, he worked as a pianist for the Frankfurt Chamber Opera and the Karlsruhe Opera Studio. He also studied for two summers at the Eötvöes Institute in Hungary and France and participated in several masterclasses in Austria and Germany.

    Michelthwate is the recipient of the Emory and Geraldine Ford Foundation sponsorship, and was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center (studying with Seiji Ozawa, Robert Spano, Daniel Barenboim and André Previn) and at the National Conducting Institute in Washington, where he was recognized by National Symphony Orchestra music director Leonard Slatkin, who engaged him the following season as cover conductor.

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  • Contact:

    Rachelle Roe, 213.972.7310; for photos: Ellie Lloyd, 213.972.3448