BY JACKIE STRAWBRIDGE
The Astoria Symphony Orchestra baton has been passed.
Maestro David Stech, who has been working as Resident Conductor of the Astoria Symphony Orchestra since 2011, will take over as music director for the 2014-15 season.
Stech will be the orchestra’s second music director, taking over from Maestro Silas Huff, who founded the Astoria Symphony in 2002.
“I am delighted that the Board of Directors has selected David to be the new Music Director,” Huff said. “He will do extraordinary things in Astoria, and under his leadership the orchestra will grow and do great work.”
When he takes over, Stech said he intends to explore the orchestra’s stylistic range. He hopes to wade further into the standard French repertoire, and also to introduce more operatic literature, due to his own extensive experience conducting opera.
“That’s part of my strengths – that’s something I add to the future of this group,” Stech said.
A former organist, trombonist and singer, Stech holds posts as staff conductor of the New York Lyric Opera and vocal coach and pianist at the Manhattan School of Music, among several other positions throughout the east coast.
Stech said he is looking forward not only to working more closely with the Astoria Symphony Orchestra players, but also to increased interaction with Astoria audiences.
“[The Music Director] has a special role as an interface between the community – the people in the audience – and the ensemble itself. I even like on occasion to talk to the audience from the podium,” he said.
During his time as Resident Conductor, Stech noticed that Astoria Symphony audiences are diverse in backgrounds, ages and musical experiences. “Which is wonderful to see, it’s something I didn’t expect,” he said.
“This community clearly loves its orchestra,” Stech added, “and I am honored to lead them. The Astoria Symphony Orchestra is such a great group of musicians … If you haven’t heard this orchestra, you should – you will love our music.”
Sunday evening marks the final performance of the 2013-14 season – “Broadway, Astoria!” will feature the Astoria Symphonic Choir in a selection of show tune standards. The 2014-15 season, with Stech at the podium, is tentatively slated to begin in October.
Reach Jackie Strawbridge at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JNStrawbridge.