Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra Unveils 11th Season Guest Conductors

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Monday, December 17th, 2018

At a special event at the Lucas Theatre, The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) search committee unveiled the shortlist for the new music director position. Each of the eight candidates will guest conduct a concert during the eleventh season, after which the new music director will be selected to take the baton in September 2020, at the start of the 12th season.  The search committee, chaired by SPO board member, and local business leader, Scott Lauretti, consists of musicians, board members and patrons in the community. The search committee is working with Henry Fogel as artistic consultant and facilitator.

Henry Fogel, President of the Chicago Symphony from 1985-2003 and former President of the League of American Orchestras from 2003-2008, is one of the best known and most influential performing arts administrators in the USA.  In addition to the impressive search committee members, SPO is also encouraging the public to get involved in the search. Throughout the eleventh season, starting with opening night, September 14, 2019, audiences will have the opportunity to see each of the eight guest conductors, all of whom are shortlisted candidates for the music director position.  Following each concert, audience members will receive a short email survey where they can share their thoughts on the performance.  The guest conductors will each have the opportunity to demonstrate their talent and diverse skills as they lead SPO eleventh season concerts.  The concert programs will be unveiled at the season launch in May 2019; the dates and conductors are announced today:

To engage the general public and give them the opportunity to preview these eight music director candidates, the exciting and talented line-up can be viewed at

“The Savannah Philharmonic’s future is bright! This process of shortlisted guest conductors is common practice for the nation’s leading orchestras to find the best conductor to meet their needs, and one that SPO has adopted.  We are thrilled with the caliber of talented candidates.  Along with our skilled musicians, dedicated all-volunteer board and committed colleagues, we will continue to deliver quality music and important community outreach programs for decades to come,” said Terri O’Neil, Executive Director of SPO.