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Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra 2013-2014 Season: An Interview with

Maestro Alfred Savia By Thomas Ellis

T

he 2013-2014 season promises to be one of the most exciting in the long, rich history of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra (EPO). Not only does it mark Maestro Savia’s Silver Anniversary as Music Director and Conductor, but the variety and scope of the performance schedule is unparalleled. Highlights include Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, Cirque de la Symphonie and The Music of James Bond – all specially selected by Maestro Savia. The new season will also resurrect Gospel Night and welcome the triumphant return of opera to Evansville. In the midst

of preparing for opening night, Maestro Savia kindly granted News4U an interview.

News4U (N4U): Congratulations. 25 years is a long time to be at any job, especially in this economy. Have you considered any other careers over the years? Maestro Savia (MS): There are other things I would probably enjoy doing, but I’m not qualified to do them – like tennis. But after watching the US Open last night, I think that a career at this point is a little out of the question (laughs).

N4U: So, you’re stuck conducting one of the finest orchestras in America. MS: It’s what I love to do. They always say find something you really love to do and get paid for it. That’s certainly been the case for me. N4U: There’s been some mild controversy regarding the legitimacy of your Silver Anniversary. MS: A colleague pointed out that it’s not really my 25th anniversary – that I’m just beginning my 25th year. But, to me, I think it’s more appropriate to celebrate now than when I’ve concluded the season. We’re making a big deal out of it – capitalizing on it, really. Hopefully, I’ll make it through it since I have a three year contract starting this season (laughs). N4U: On a slightly more professional note, do you recall the program that won you the position as Musical Director and Conductor? MS: Absolutely. My audition was in April of 1989, and the program consisted of Beethoven’s “Leonore Overture No. 3,” “Symphonic Metamorphosis” and Brahms’ “First Symphony.” By September, my family and I had moved here, and I was conducting opening night of the new EPO season. N4U: So, obviously you had the conducting skills, but there’s a lot more that goes into the job. MS: Without a doubt – there’s the marketing and serving as the face of the orchestra. I mean, I won the job, but with the short-term contracts, I’m essentially being reconsidered every few years. If I don’t handle that end of things to the satisfaction of the executive committee and board of directors, then I won’t be renewed. But I feel like I must have done a good job here, because very few conducting tenures last this long.

Come help Maestro Savia celebrate his Silver Anniversary with the EPO all season long. Tickets are still available. Call 812-425-5050 or visit the box office at 401 S.E. Sixth St., Suite 105. The next program on the schedule is Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, November 23rd.

6 | October 2013

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