2016-17 Music Director Candidate Finalists

The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra Board of Directors is pleased to announce the names of the Music Director candidate finalists who will guest conduct five of the six 2016-17 season concerts. 

After an extensive search process which began in June 2015, the IPO Conductor Search Committee narrowed the field to five extraordinary conductors, from a field of almost 200 from around the globe. They are, in order of appearance:
  • Holly Mathieson, Resident Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland Junior Orchestra; Founder and Artistic Director of the Horizont Musik-Kollektiv (Berlin); recipient of the Leverhulme Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire
  • Alastair Willis, Grammy-nominated Music Director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra; Guest Conductor for the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, China National Orchestra and Silk Road Ensemble (with Yo-Yo Ma)
  • Stilian Kirov, Music Director of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and Symphony in C; 2015 Malko Competition prizewinner
  • Darko Butorac, Music Director of the Tallahassee and Missoula Symphony Orchestras; Principal Conductor of the Fidenza Opera Festival in Italy 
  • Sean Newhouse, Winner of the Aspen Conducting Prize and major prizes at the Fitelberg and Malko competitions; former Assistant Conductor of Boston and Associate Conductor of Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras
The Search Committee was comprised of IPO board members, IPO musicians, community members and Executive Director Eska Koester, and was advised by Henry Fogel, Dean of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and former President and CEO of the League of American Orchestras and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Full conductor candidate bios can be found by clicking the link below the candidate's picture.
(Listed in order of appearance)
Conductor Candidate Holly Mathieson (Read bio)
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Conductor Candidate Alastair Willis (read bio)
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Conductor Candidate Stilian Kirov (read bio)
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Conductor Candidate Darko Butorac (read bio)
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Conductor Candidate Sean Newhouse (read bio)