Kicking off its 46th season, Palm Beach Symphony orchestra welcomes its newest music director, conductor Gerard Schwarz, for the 2019-20 season. We first saw Schwarz as he succeeded Ramón Tebar, (who held the position since 2009) leading the orchestra in its final masterworks performance of the 2018-19 season, featuring guest soloist Leon Fleisher. The performance garnered both audience and critical acclaim, exciting concertgoers for the impressive 70- to 85-piece orchestra’s upcoming season with Schwarz at the helm.
A conductor with seven Emmy Awards, 14 Grammy nominations and an overwhelming number of additional accolades, Schwarz is known all over the world for his reputation of developing world-class orchestras. And the Symphony couldn’t be more elated about catching his attention. “Our ability to attract a music director the caliber of Gerard Schwarz speaks to the quality of our orchestra and the vitality of our organization,” says Palm Beach Symphony board President Dale McNulty. Schwarz was also recently appointed as the Distinguished Professor of Music, Conducting and Orchestral Studies at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, positioning him to spend even more time in our beloved South Florida. Previously, Schwarz held the position of music director at the Seattle Symphony, completing his 26th and final season in 2011, and now serves as its conductor laureate. As if that weren’t enough, Schwarz also served as music director at New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the New York Chamber Symphony. To say his résumé is impressive is an understatement.
The grandson of Holocaust victims, Schwarz’s trajectory for his first year with the orchestra is aimed at shining a light on women and other historically underrepresented composers and musicians, as well as incorporating a dynamic roster of high-profile guest artists. “Accepting the music director position at Palm Beach Symphony is my great honor. During a wonderful week with the orchestra this season, I experienced their dedication to excellence, and I quickly realized what a superb orchestra they are. It is an unusually musical ensemble, and I believe we can accomplish a great deal together,” says Schwarz. “Of course, Palm Beach is a magical place, and I believe that Palm Beach Symphony adds a great deal to that magic.” Times and ticket prices vary, 400 Hibiscus St., West Palm Beach, 561.281.1045