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SLO Symphony announces five music director finalists 


Season subscribers will have chance to comment on each conductor

–After reviewing 134 submissions, watching dozens of conducting videos and Skyping with many candidates, the San Luis Obispo Symphony Selection Committee has announced the five finalists for Music Director.

Season subscribers will have the opportunity to comment on each conductor after their performance to get the audience perspective. All subscriber comments will be reviewed by the Selection Committee prior to final selection. Classics in the Cohan season tickets for new subscribers will be available starting June 1, 2016 and can be purchased by calling the Symphony office at (805) 543-3533.

The selection committee is made up of board of directors members: David Hamilton (Chair), Fred Friedman, Mary Tanner and Dwyne Willis; Orchestra musicians Jerry Boots, Karen Loewi Jones, Lisa Nauful, Paul Severtson, Clifton Swanson and Rich Ward; and community leader and symphony supporter Brendan McAdams.



Andrew SewellSewell(lo-res)
Classics in the Cohan I (Oct. 8, 2016)
Andrew Sewell has enjoyed fifteen seasons as Music Director of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra in Madison. He has expanded the repertoire and provided innovative and adventuresome programming to all their concert programs. His previous appointments include Music Director of the Wichita Symphony, Mansfield Symphony, and Resident Conductor of the Toledo Symphony. A native of New Zealand, Sewell received his music training on the violin, piano and cornet.



Jose-Luis NovoNovo(lo-res)
Classics in the Cohan II (Nov. 12, 2016)
Music Director and conductor of the Binghamton Philharmonic in New York and Annapolis Symphony Orchestra in Maryland, José-Luis Novo began his musical studies at the conservatory of Valladolid—his hometown in Spain, obtaining the degree of Profesor Superior de Violín. He continued his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, where he earned a First Prize in violin. Read Maestro Novo’s complete bio.



Nan WashburnWashburn(lo-res)
Classics in the Cohan III (Feb. 4, 2017)
Winner of The American Prize of Orchestral Conducting and 19 ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming from the League of American Orchestras, Nan Washburn is one of the most dynamic conductors working in the U.S. today. She is currently the Music Director of the Michigan Philharmonic and was also appointed the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for the Michigan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.



David HandelHandel(lo-res)
Classics in the Cohan IV (Mar. 11, 2017)
David Handel’s passionate leadership and engaging personality has made him a favorite with orchestras and audiences on four continents. A disciple of Kurt Masur and Gustav Meier, he was named Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra of Bolivia at an early age. Building that organization into a model of artistic and organizational growth has led him on to further appointments and now as Principal Guest Conductor of the Moscow City Symphony – Russian Philharmonic.



Rei HotodaHotoda(lo-res)
Classics in the Cohan V (May 6, 2017)
Hotoda is currently Associate Conductor of the Utah Symphony Orchestra—the first female to hold this position in the Orchestra’s 75-year history. She has also held Assistant Conductor positions with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Winnipeg Orchestra.





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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at