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Maciej Żółtowski

Catskill Symphony Search Decides On Polish Conductor

MACIEJ ZOLTOWSKI CHOSEN

Catskill Symphony

Search Decides On

Polish Conductor

Maciej Zoltowski, director of the Radom Chamber Orchestra in Poland, accepts accolades from the audience at the Catskill Symphony Orchestra concert he conducted in November at SUNY Oneonta’s Hunt Union Ballroom. At right is Janet Nepkie, founder of the college’s Music Industry major and lead cellist. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – In the end, The Catskill Symphony Orchestra chose Maciej Zoltowski.

“In advance of the first rehearsal, Maciej asked for a roster and he studied it,” said Diane Williams, CSO board chair. “One musician told me that pleased him so much that Maciej knew his name when he called on him.”

The selection of Maciej, the former managing and artistic director of the Radom Chamber Orchestra in Poland, as the orchestra’s music director designee comes at the end of a two-year conductor search, following the retirement of maestro Charles Schneider.

“Chuck conducted for 45 years,” said Williams. “It’s been very different for the orchestra, having three conductors this season, but we felt that Maciej was the best fit. We believe he will transition beautifully and bring his own essence to the symphony.”

In November, Maciej conducted “The Fairy Tale,” the third and final in the conductor search series. Finalists Silas Huff conducting “The Firebird” in September and Carolyn Watson, “The Elements” in October.

The three finalists were whittled down from 73 applicants and six semi-finalists, then the search committee took surveys from both the musicians and the audience.

“The audience liked all of the conductors,” said Williams. “And what we really wanted to know is if they enjoyed the concert and if they would be interested in attending the next season. But the audience did not have one negative thing to say about any of the candidates.”

But weighing more heavily was the survey of the musicians. “Maciej was a very strong candidate not just musically, but the way he was able to work with the orchestra in such a short period of time,” said Williams. “He has a broad experience, and really was the best fit.”

“We think Maciej has a great vision for growing the orchestra in style and skill,” said Laurie Zimniewicz, chair of the search committee. “The musicians had great things to say about all three conductor finalists, but they strongly supported Maciej.”

Four musicians sat on the search committee, who was tasked with compiling both sets of surveys and delivering a list of strengths and weaknesses to the board, who made the final decision.

In addition to the surveys, the candidates were introduced to members of the community, including presidents Hartwick College and SUNY Oneonta and the Glimmerglass Festival, as well as asked to put together a budget for their concert season. “The symphony has to remain strong financially or there won’t be a symphony,” said Williams. “Maciej came in at or under budget.”

Maciej will still need to get a visa before he can officially get the job; until then, he is the designee. He will make his first formal appearance at the CSO’s annual Cabaret Concert on Saturday, March 14, which will also feature the annual Guest Conductor Competition and a performance by Mandy Harvey, a deaf jazz singer who finished fourth on “America’s Got Talent” in 2017.

“He is already excited and has started working with Thomas Wolfe to put things in place for that concert,” said Williams. “He hasn’t selected his pieces yet, but he’ll also be working with Mandy to help pick her pieces.”

“I’m happy we’ve come to the conclusion,” said Williams. “We’re so fortunate that things worked out so well.”

 

 

 

Polish Conductor Named New CSO Music Director

Polish Conductor

Will Take Podium

As CSO Conductor

After Three Auditions,

Musicians Choose Maciej

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Maciej Żółtowski addresses the crowd ahead of his concert, “The Fairy Tale” (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

ONEONTA – Maciej Żółtowski, the former managing and artistic director of the Radom Chamber Orchestra in Poland, has been named the Music Director designee of the Catskill Symphony Orchestra, search committee chair Laurie Zimniewicz announced.

“We think Maciej has a great vision for growing the orchestra in style and skill,” said Zimniewicz. “The musicians had great things to say about all three conductor finalists, but they strongly supported Maciej.”

In addition to Żółtowski, finalists Silas Huff and Carolyn Watson each conducted a concert; Huff conducted “The Firebird” in September and Watson conducted “The Elements” in October.

Żółtowski will make his debut as the music director at the annual Cabaret Concert on Saturday, March 14.

Conductor Contest Raises CSO Turnout

ELBOW HURT, ZOLTKOWSKI SHINES

Conductor Contest

Raises CSO Turnout

Bill and Cynthia Goertemoeller applaud Maciej Zółtowski at the end of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1 Saturday, Nov. 16, as the Catskill Symphony Orchestra performed in SUNY Oneonta’s Hunt Union Ballroom. At right is Laurie Zimniewicz, who led the search committee to recruit a new CSO conductor. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – Though the new music director of the Catskill Symphony Orchestra won’t be named until after the New Year, the board of directors already has plenty to celebrate.

Maciej Zółtowski guides the Catskill Symphony Orchestra through Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concert #1.

“We had nearly a full house for all three shows,” said Diane Williams, board chair. “We saw an uptick in season subscriptions too, because season ticket-holders were invited to all of the pre-show talks the conductors gave.”

On Saturday, Nov. 16, Maciej Żółtowski, the third finalist for the conductor position, conducted Stanisław Moniuszko’s “Concert Overture: The Fairy Tale” and two pieces by Tchaikovsky. Though he had fallen on ice on the SUNY Oneonta campus and dislocated his elbow just days before, he still managed to conduct with both hands.

But with all conductors finished with their concert auditions, the difficult task of deciding who will take the CSO’s baton begins.

“Each of the conductors brought something different to the podium,” said Laurie Zimniewicz, search committee chair. “But in all cases, we saw the musicians stepping up to the plate and putting out incredible music.”

On Saturday, Sept. 7, Silas Huff conducted “The Firebird,” and on Saturday, Oct. 12, Carolyn Watson conducted “The Elements: Rhythm, Melody and Form.”

“People really liked Silas’ congeniality; Carolyn had a very different kind of program, and a lot of people said that really stretched the audience,” said Zimniewicz. “And with Żółtowski, how do you not like Tchaikovsky? Plus, he and Silas’ soloists, that they had the contacts to bring that kind of talent here.”

Zimniewicz and the search committee will meet and look over the surveys handed out at the end of each performance to rank and rate the conductors in the areas of pre-show talk, program selection, and whether the conductor engaged the musicians.

“We’ll analyze their strengths and weaknesses,” she said. “We’ll compare to how each of those to the other candidates, and we’ll put the results of each of those onto a graph.”

From there, they will also look at the surveys completed by the musicians, which, Zimniewicz said, will carry more weight than the audience surveys.

“All three were great candidates,” said Ana Laura Gonzalez, piccolo. “We all have our favorites, but no matter which one gets picked, we’ll have a strong conductor.”

She praised Huff’s “personable” nature and detail-oriented conducting, Watson’s “bravery” in her selections and Żółtowski attentiveness to the orchestra.

“He did very little with his hands,” she said. “He used a lot of facial expressions to the orchestra. It was very subtle, but very clear to the musicians.”

The results will be compiled and delivered to the Board of Directors at their December meeting, where they will be tasked with choosing the new conductor.

The conductor will make his or her official CSO debut at the Cabaret Concert on Saturday, March 14. The concert will also feature special guest Mandy Harvey, an “America’s Got Talent” Golden Buzzer winner, as well as the annual conductor competition.

“For a small, regional symphony to bring in such a broad range of choice was so important,” said Zimniewicz. “These conductors came from such a broad range.”

Arm Healed, 3rd Candidate Conducts Tchaikovsky At CSO

Arm Healed, 3rd Candidate

Conducts Tchaikovsky At CSO

Maciej Żółtowski, the third candidate vying for the position of Conductor of the Catskill Symphony Orchestra, leads guest pianist Alex MacDonald, foreground, in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 during this evening’s performance in the Hunt Union Ballroom at SUNY Oneonta. Żółtowski had recovered from his fall earlier this week that dislocated his elbow, and was able to conduct the orchestra with both hands. From here, the CSO search committee will begin deliberations and make their recommendation to the CSO Board of Directors on who they think should conduct. Their decision will be made by the end of the year. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16

Holiday Market In

Heated Green House

14-19eventspage

ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

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3rd CSO Candidate Slips On Ice, Dislocates Elbow

Żółtowski To Conduct With Left Hand

3rd CSO Candidate Slips

On Ice, Dislocates Elbow

Maciej Żółtowski leads the Catskill Symphony Orchestra in rehearsal earlier this week. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

ONEONTA – The show must go on.

Walking back from his interview with the Catskill Symphony Orchestra board, Maciej Żółtowski, the final of the three contenders for the music director of the CSO, slipped on the ice on the SUNY Oneonta campus and dislocated his right elbow, according to Laurie Zimniewicz, chair of the search committee.

An EMT assisted Żółtowski back to the Red Dragon Building, and an ambulance was called.

Trying to assist Żółtowski, CSO Executive Director  Thomas Wolfe fell on the stairs and dislocated his right shoulder, Zimniewicz said. A second ambulance was called and both were treated at the Fox Hospital emergency room.

CSO Prospect To Focus On Tchaikovsky Works

3RD CONTESTANT FROM POLAND

CSO Prospect To Focus

On Tchaikovsky Works

Maciej Zółtowski rehearses with the Catskill Symphony Orchestra. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Editor’s Note:  Maciej Żółtowski, the third candidate to become the Catskill Symphony Orchestra’s next conductor, will perform at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 16, at SUNY Oneonta’s Hunt Union Ballroom.  Tickets at door or via https://catskillsymphony.net/  This article appears in this week’s Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal, on newsstands now.

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – For Maciej Żółtowski, conducting is a kind of enchantment.

“It is similar to magic,” he said. “You get up there, you wave your stick and music comes out!”

Appropriate, then, that Żółtowski, the former managing and artistic director of the Radom Chamber Orchestra in Poland, will be conducting Stanisław Moniuszko’s “Concert Overture: The Fairy Tale,” as part of the third and final entry in the Catskill Symphony Orchestra’s Conductor Search concert on Saturday, Nov. 16.

The piece, he said, is close to his heart.

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