The Fresno Philharmonic will soon be looking for a new conductor and musical director. Theodore Kuchar, who has led the orchestra for the past 13 seasons announced on Thursday that he plans to step down following the conclusion of the 2015-2016 season.
In a written statement Kuchar praised the orchestra's performances:
Kuchar: "I have no reservation in saying that the Fresno Philharmonic and I have often delivered performances that are not typical of a regional American orchestra but those of a standard to be expected in a major musical capitol."
Kuchar has enjoyed international attention during his tenure with the Philharmonic, largely through his numerous recordings with European orchestras for the Naxos record label, and guest conducting performances across the globe. Kuchar also serves as the Music Director of the Reno Chamber Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Nevada Chamber Music Festival, Artistic Director of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Venezuela and Principal Conductor of the Slovak Sinfonietta.
The Philharmonic's board president J. D. Northway said in a statement that the early announcement will allow the orchestra to plan for the post-Kuchar era:
Northway: “We are grateful for the outstanding work Maestro Kuchar has done here in Fresno over the past thirteen seasons. The orchestra sounds better than ever. By informing us of his decision now, Maestro Kuchar has given us plenty of time to ensure a smooth transition in the artistic leadership of the Fresno Philharmonic.”
The orchestra did not announce any details on the search process for a new conductor, or Kuchar's future plans.