Philharmonic extends Terrell’s contract

Scott Terrell conducts the 2012-13 season-opening concert with piano soloist Alessio Bax on Sept. 14, 2012. © Herald-Leader staff photo by Rich Copley.

The Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra announced today that it has extended music director Scott Terrell’s contract five years, through 2018-19 season.

“Scott has ushered in a new era for LexPhil which has raised the bar for all of us who love music,” Gregory Jenkins, president of the Philharmonic’s board of directors, said in a statement. “This will provide the opportunity for Scott to further hone the core values of artistic excellence, innovation, collaboration and accessibility for our orchestra and will provide the time horizon to solidify the improvements made in Scott’s first several years.”

Terrell is currently in the midst of his fourth season as the Philharmonic’s music director. He was selected after a two-year, 10-candidate search for a successor to George Zack, who wielded the baton for the Philharmonic for 37 years.

During his tenure, Terrell led the Philharmonic through its 50th anniversary season and has introduced programming innovations including presenting the annual holiday season performances of Handel’s Messiah at area churches, initiating a commissioning partnership with the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington and bringing numerous works never previously heard in Lexington to the stage. He has also broadened the auditioning pool for Philharmonic musicians to include more regional and national candidates and initiated new partnerships with a variety of area arts groups. Reviews of concerts have cited a steady improvement in the orchestra’s playing.

Announcing the current season, Philharmonic executive director Allison Kaiser said the Philharmonic had seen a 43 percent growth in its subscription base over the previous two years.

“My mission since arriving in Lexington has been to create a culture of curiosity surrounding music,” Terrell said in a statement. “I want people to be excited about what LexPhil is doing, and eagerly look forward to each of our musical adventures – because that is what the arts are at their best, an inspiring process of learning something new about our world, ourselves and each other.”

The Philharmonic’s current season continues in December with its annual Candy Cane Concert Dec. 9 at the Singletary Center for the Arts and Messiah Dec. 15 at the Cathedral of Christ the King.

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