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CSO Gets New Music Director: Jean-Marie Zeitouni

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Press Release:

The Columbus Symphony today announced the appointment of Jean-Marie Zeitouni to the position of music director. The 36-year-old native of Montreal has been contracted to lead the Symphony for the next four years, and will be responsible for the repertoire, programming, and artistic direction of the organization, as well as building and sustaining the Symphony’s visibility and involvement in the community. The appointment comes on the heels of a recent announcement that the Symphony was able to balance the 2009-10 budget after once projecting a $1.5 million deficit.

“It’s an exciting time for the Symphony and for Columbus,” stated Martin Inglis, CSO Board Chair. “The diligent efforts of our search committee have produced a rising young star to take the helm of our organization. Jean-Marie is an international talent with the artistic vision and leadership abilities capable of further stabilizing the future of the Symphony locally, nationally, and internationally.”

Jean-Marie, who has guest conducted the Columbus Symphony on three previous occasions, was selected following a comprehensive 18-month search. He will reside in Columbus for the length of his tenure with the organization.

“He’s a world class talent and we’re excited to have him here,” stated John O’Grady, President of the Franklin County Commissioners. “The Symphony and the arts are a catalyst to attract other businesses to Columbus, and that’s an important part of our economy as we move forward in this community.”

“The Columbus Symphony is already recognized worldwide as a premier arts organization,” said Michael C. Mentel, President of Columbus City Council. “The addition of someone as dynamic and talented as Jean-Marie will only help to enhance the international status of our symphony and our city.”

“To move forward economically, we’ve got to have a thriving arts and cultural community,” stated Alex Fischer, President and CEO of The Columbus Partnership. “The work Jean-Marie will do with our symphony, in partnership with our community, is very important in achieving our economic goals.”

“Jean-Marie comes to our city at a time of incredible creativity around the arts and the future of the arts in our community,” said Doug Kridler, President and CEO of The Columbus Foundation. “Evidenced particularly, and maybe most dramatically, by the fusion of CAPA and the Symphony to protect that which is so crucial to this community and our country – the preservation of great art. He couldn’t be coming at a better time.”

Jean-Marie will make his official debut as music director on Saturday, October 9, conducting the Scheherazade program. The evening’s lineup includes Ravel’s Shéhérazade, Debussy’s La mer, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, and will also feature soprano Karina Gauvin.

For more information, visit www.columbussymphony.com.

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