The Board of Trustees of the New World Symphony (NWS) announces the appointment of Stéphane Denève as its new Artistic Director. Mr. Denève begins his commitment in the 2022/23 season and will be the second Artistic Director in the 35-year history of the organization. He will succeed co-founder Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) who will continue his leadership of NWS as Artistic Director Laureate.

Mr. Denève is also Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and in 2023 will begin his tenure as Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic.

Of the appointment, NWS Chairman William M. Osborne III said, “Stéphane Denève is one of the great conductors of our time, leading major orchestras of the U.S. and Europe. He has shown a talent for developing the artistic stature of his ensembles and broadening the symphonic repertoire. He is deeply committed to passing the traditions of classical music to the next generation. We are pleased that he will bring his creativity and experience to the leadership of the New World Symphony.  The NWS Fellows work to the highest standards set by our founding Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas. Stéphane will guide them in the pursuit of excellence as conductor, collaborator, and mentor. He is also aware of the opportunities and challenges of the digital environment. Stéphane will continue the NWS tradition of reinvention as it applies to concert formats and digital distribution of artistic expression. He is uniquely suited to build on the accomplishments of MTT, who will partner with Stéphane as Artistic Director Laureate.  We are privileged to have them both.”

“It is a great pleasure to welcome my friend and colleague, Stéphane Denève, to the New World Symphony family. I’m delighted that such a devoted, enthusiastic, and internationally recognized musician has agreed to take up the musical leadership of the New World Symphony,” shared Michael Tilson Thomas. “When Ted and Lin Arison and I started the New World Symphony 35 years ago, we hoped that we were creating an institution that would continue to grow, evolve and serve the musical community and the public. It was our profoundest belief that our success would be measured by how much attention we could devote to each Fellow who came through the program. With over 1,200 alumni sharing their art and a strong and vital future secured for the institution, I feel we have realized our dream. How reassuring to know that Stéphane Denève will carry that dream forward. Bravo and congratulations!”

“The New World Symphony, for over 35 years, has been at the forefront of musical education and has built a groundbreaking tradition of re-imagining the future of our artform, pushing boundaries with passion, curiosity and open-mindedness. It is with great joy and a humbling sense of purpose that I am joining today the family of the New World Symphony, making it now my mission to continue the inspired dream of its founder and guiding soul, Michael Tilson Thomas,” said Stéphane Denève of his new role. “I can’t wait to share my experience, enthusiasm and love for music with all the talented NWS Fellows. I would like to thank ‘de tout coeur’ Michael for his generous endorsement, Will Osborne, NWS President and CEO Howard Herring, and the whole team of the NWS for inviting me to be their new Artistic Director.”

The Artistic Director search committee was led by the NWS Board of Trustees. Mr. Denève has been a regular guest conductor at New World Symphony since 2006, where he has been warmly received by Fellows and audiences.

Watch the NWS Artistic Director Announcement

Photo credit: Uwe Ditz

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