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MSO Renews Popular Conductor's Contract through 2020

MSO Renews Popular Conductor's Contract through 2020

The Board of Directors of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra has announced the renewal of Music Director Elizabeth Schulze’s contract through the 2019-2020 Season.

“The accomplishments that Elizabeth has already achieved have resulted in an extraordinary improvement in the artistic quality of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra,” stated Brendan Fitzsimmons, president of the MSO’s Board of Directors in making the announcement.  “However, the Board feels that her work is not yet done here and is thrilled that she has agreed to continue that work with us over the next four seasons. On a personal note, I am very excited to be able to continue to work with Elizabeth as the organization continues to grow and find new ways to serve our community.”   

Schulze began her tenure with the MSO during the 1999-2000 Season after a nationwide search was conducted for a music director to replace Barry Tuckwell.  Tuckwell was a world-renowned French horn soloist at the time he was recruited to become the orchestra’s first conductor and made his debut with the MSO in November 1982.

“I am deeply grateful for the MSO board’s continued endorsement of my work with this wonderful orchestra,” said Schulze upon learning that her contract would be renewed for another four years. “The MSO has exciting projects in store as we confidently go forward into this new century. I look forward to leading the charge!”

With passion, verve, and illuminating musicianship, Schulze has been conducting orchestras and opera companies, advocating for music education, and electrifying audiences in the States and abroad for over twenty-five years.  She made her European debut leading the Mainz Chamber Orchestra in the Atlantisches Festival in Kaiserslautern, Germany.  She appeared in Paris as the assistant guest conductor for the Paris Opera and has also appeared in London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and Vienna with the National Symphony Orchestra during its 1997 European tour. 

Schulze’s recent guest conducting in the United States includes appearances with the New Jersey, Detroit, San Francisco, and Chautauqua Symphonies.  Her positions with U.S. orchestras include an appointment as associate conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, music director and conductor of the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, a seven-year position as music director and conductor of the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, cover conductor and conducting assistant for the New York Philharmonic, and assistant conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic, an appointment sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Since the beginning of her career, Schulze has been a spirited advocate for music education.  Her far-ranging work includes her ongoing association with the National Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Music Institute (SMI).  For more than 10 years Schulze has conducted, taught, and mentored dozens of young musicians in the SMI at the Kennedy Center.  She has also conducted the American Composer’s Orchestra in LinkUp educational and family concerts in Carnegie Hall and throughout New York City.  And for six years, Schulze joined her mentor Leonard Slatkin teaching at NSO’s National Conducting Institute. 

Over the years Schulze’s music education and mentoring work has spanned from elementary to university students.  She was an artist-in-residence at Northwestern University and has guest conducted the orchestras of the University of Maryland, Manhattan School of Music, The Catholic University of America, and guest lectured at The Juilliard School.  For the past 13 years, she has been the guest conductor of the Washington All-County High School Orchestra.  “Elizabeth’s commitment to continuing education, and the ability to have worthwhile musical experiences for our children throughout the communities that the MSO serves, has been inspirational for all of us who work with her,” said Fitzsimmons. 

Schulze’s own education includes training in Europe and in the States.  She graduated cum laude from Bryn Mawr College and as an honors student from Interlochen Arts Academy.  She holds graduate degrees in orchestral and choral conducting from SUNY at Stony Brook.  She was the first doctoral fellow in orchestral conducting at Northwestern University and was selected as a conducting fellow at L’École d’Arts Americaines in France.  In 1991, she was the recipient of the first Aspen Music School Conducting Award.  At Aspen she worked with Murry Sidlin, Lawrence Foster, and Sergiu Commissiona.  As a Tanglewood fellow, she has worked with Seiji Ozawa, Gustav Meier, and Leonard Bernstein. 

“Under the charismatic musical leadership of Elizabeth Schulze, the MSO has achieved an extraordinary level of performance. With this four year extension of her contract, the Board of Directors has insured the continuity of vision and commitment that will serve the orchestra and community,” said the MSO’s Executive Director Michael Jonnes. “I look forward to continuing the exciting and enjoyable partnership with Elizabeth.” 

The Maryland Symphony Orchestra is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive.  The Maryland Symphony Orchestra is the area’s premier professional orchestra, dedicated to providing musical performances that educated and entertain, while enhancing the cultural environment of Western Maryland and the surrounding region.

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