The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra has appointed a new principal conductor and artistic leadership team in what it says is a clear demonstration of its confidence in the orchestra’s future.
Current associate guest conductor Nicholas Carter will take up the role of principal conductor in 2016, with the ASO saying it is the first time in almost 30 years that an Australian conductor has been appointed to lead a major Australian symphony orchestra.
“We are thrilled to publicly declare our solid belief in Australian musical talent: Nicholas Carter’s ability, musical personality and maturity belie his age,” ASO managing director Vincent Ciccarello said of the 29-year-old’s appointment, announced this afternoon.
The ASO has been without a principal conductor since Arvo Volmer’s contract ended, with Volmer continuing as principal guest conductor and artistic adviser during the orchestra’s search for a new principal. His tenure finishes at the end of the 2015 season.
Melbourne-born Carter, who was previously associate conductor of the Sydney Symphony and musical assistant to music director Simone Young at the Hamburg State Opera, is based in Berlin, where he is kapellmeister (music director) of the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
“I think my appointment [with the ASO] comes at a really interesting time in the musical and cultural landscape in Australia and throughout the world, where orchestras and other cultural organisations are trying to redefine their relevance in the world in the 21st century,” he said.
“I’m passionate about the merits of bringing classical music to as many people as possible and to engage not only the communities that already know about the ASO but also the communities that perhaps have had no experience or exposure to orchestral music so far.”
Also appointed for a two-year term from 2016 are new principal guest conductor and artistic adviser Jeffrey Tate and artist-in-association Pinchas Zukerman.
Ciccarello said the appointments demonstrated the orchestra’s “self-belief, confidence and optimism” as it prepared to celebrate its 80th anniversary next year, as well as its ambition to gain greater recognition on the world stage.
British conductor Tate, who is currently principal conductor of the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, is considered one of the world’s top conductors of the music of Wagner and Strauss, and lists conducting Wagner’s complete Ring Cycle with the ASO and State Opera SA in 1998 as one of his career highlights.
Zuckerman is a conductor, teacher, violinist and violist who tours extensively and is completing his 16th season as music director at the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa, and his sixth season as principal guest conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.