A new musical director takes the baton at the McLean Orchestra Sunday after a two-year search.
The orchestra has named Miriam Burns, currently the music director of the Orchestra of the Redeemer in New York City and former music director of the Kenosha Symphony, as its new director.
She was the unanimous choice of the Artistic Advisory Committee (AAC) of the McLean Orchestra, comprised of musicians, board, management, and audience representatives, according to a statement from John Huling, the orchestra's executive director.
“After two years of performing under a variety of fine guest conductors, I know I speak for all the musicians of the McLean Orchestra as well as myself when I say we are thrilled to move ahead with a highly-talented, world-class music director and conductor who will provide continuity, long-term vision, creative new outreach initiatives and artistic excellence for years to come," Huling said in a statement.
"Her electrifying concert with the McLean Orchestra, 'A Night at the Opera,' in February 2012 was a season highlight for us all. This is a great day for the McLean Orchestra organization,” Huling said.
Burns said, “I am thrilled to accept the position of music director of the McLean Orchestra. ... I thoroughly enjoyed working with the McLean Orchestra and was impressed with the level of music making, potential and desire to improve. I felt an easy rapport with the musicians as well as the administration and Board members, knowing we would make a great team, working together to mold the McLean Orchestra into a world-class ensemble, expanding its visibility and prestige throughout Northern Virginia, Metropolitan D.C. and beyond."
The orchestra was organized in 1972 with 15 musicians and has since grown to 80 musicians, most of whom are professional musicians.
Burns was on staff of the New York Philharmonic for eight years as one of the cover conductors, chosen by audition to serve under then music directors Kurt Masur and Lorin Maazel. Recent prior music directorships include six years with the Tallahassee Symphony and a 14-year tenure with the Kenosha (Wis.) Symphony, where she has been recently named music director emerita.
Internationally, she has guest conducted in England, Germany and Taiwan, in addition to various orchestras across the US. Previously active as an accomplished violinist, Ms. Burns received all of her conducting training on full scholarship at the Mannes College of Music and the Yale School of Music, receiving conducting awards from the Aspen Music Festival and The Conductors’ Guild.
"My specialty is to galvanize and empower orchestras to perform at the peak of their abilities, and I always develop quite a following with local audiences. As musical ambassador and face of the organization, I look forward to meeting everyone and, as much as possible, becoming a part of society in McLean," Burns said. "My passion is to make symphonic music relevant and exciting for new as well as existing audiences.”