This is a very hard letter for me to write and I’m really sad about not being able to continue as your music director in the fall. I have enjoyed every minute of our rehearsals and performances together in the past three years, and I really appreciated your trust, good humor and friendship in the times we’ve shared.
As many of you know, I’m currently conducting two orchestras in Seattle: Philharmonia Northwest and Seattle Modern Orchestra. Next season I will also be guest conducting Saratoga Orchestra on Whidbey Island and Seattle Symphony. As my concert schedule grows busier and my workload increases, I have more and more conflicts with our Sunday evening rehearsals at the chorale (I already had to miss a quarter of our rehearsals last spring). I really feel guilty for not being able to be there for you all the time and think that it is not fair for the chorale to have a music director who is not there half of the time. Because of this I reached the difficult conclusion that I should no longer continue as director of the chorale.
I was happy and relieved to learn that Jean-Marie is willing to come back and lead the chorale again. I know many of you have fond memories of her and I have tremendous respect for her as a colleague and a conductor. I know you are in good hands and I look forward to attending your future concerts as an audience member! I do hope that our friendship continues and I will always keep you in my heart. And if you ever come to one of my concerts in the future, please don’t hesitate to come backstage and say hi!