Da Vinci Quartet Names New Second Violinist, Marvin Hamlisch Takes on Pops Director Duties
Princeton University taps Brentano String Quartet for residency program, SF Conservatory names new cello professor, SF Opera names Patrick Summers as guest conductor
The Da Vinci Quartet, which has just been awarded its fourth grant for the 1999–2000 season ($5,000 from the Denver Foundation), now has a new second violinist: Wendolyn Olson, age 27. The Brentano String Quartet has been appointed the first-ever quartet in residence at Princeton University, beginning with the 1999–2000 school year. The San Francisco Conservatory of Music has appointed Jean-Michel Fonteneau as professor of cello for 1999–2000; Fonteneau is a founding member of the Ravel String Quartet and the piano trio Le Nouveau Trio du Val-de-Marne. At Mannes College of Music, Samuel Wong replaced Michael Charry as music director of the orchestra and conducting programs; Charry retired in April 1999.
Vladimir Spivakov will be music director and principal conductor of the Russian National Orchestra, effective September 1999; Mikhail Pletnev, who has held these positions since founding the orchestra in 1990, will become conductor laureate and devote more time to his work as a composer and pianist. Christian Zacharias will join the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne in the 2000–01 season as artistic director and principal conductor, with a four-year contract. Patrick Summers will begin as principal guest conductor of the San Francisco Opera with the 2000–01 season. He is also music director of the Houston Grand Opera and the Orchestra of St. Luke's in New York City, as well as principal guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic.
Composer, conductor, and pianist Marvin Hamlisch will become the principal pops conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., at the start of the 2000–01 season. The newly created post is the first "pops" position in NSO history. Brooklyn Philharmonic Music Director Robert Spano has signed a five-year contract renewal, which will extend his tenure through the 2003–04 season, the Philharmonic's 50th anniversary.