DSSO names new Music Director
The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra has named its future Music Director.
Dirk Meyer will eventually replace the DSSO's current Music Director Markand Thakar after working for a year as the "Music Director Designate."
Meyer, a native of Germany, is currently the Associate Conductor of the Sarasota Orchestra.
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As part of his job audition, Meyer conducted a DSSO classical concert in October featuring the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Prokofiev. Duluth News Tribune reviewer Sam Black said of the concert:
He never looked back. His tempo for the Mozart was on the edge, and the DSSO kept right with him all the way. After only four short minutes, it was obvious that Meyer had every orchestral eye focused on him.
After the concert Meyer shared that the DSSO seemed to respond to his intentions more quickly than other orchestras he has directed. The rapport was definitely working both ways. With his baton in constant motion and his eyes rapidly moving from the music to the players, Meyer set a high standard for performance communication.
In 2010 Markand Thakar announced his plans to leave the DSSO in 2013. Thakar joined the orchestra in 2000, and holds the third longest tenure in the DSSO's history.
In explaining his departure, Thakar said that at some point it becomes essential to take on new challenges:
This has been one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, but with the Orchestra performing at historically high levels, with the audiences large and enthusiastic, and with the classical concerts flourishing financially, now seems like a most opportune time to take the plunge.
Dirk Meyer was chosen to replace Thakar from over 130 applications.
Photo of Dirk Meyer courtesy the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra