CHICAGO – West Michigan Symphony Music Director and Conductor Scott Speck has been recently named artistic director for the Chicago Philharmonic Society, according to a press release sent on Monday.
The society makes up "the artistic strength of the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra," according to its website, and is the official orchestra of the Joffrey Ballet, of which Speck is also the music director.
Speck will begin his tenure June 1, according to the release, which cited his experience and knowledge as assets to the philharmonic.
"He is an excellent conductor with a wide ranging knowledge of repertoire, deep experience in programming and a good sense of what will engage existing and new audiences," said Paul Judy, chairman of the Chicago Philharmonic Society Board of Directors in the release on March 18.
Speck said he was thrilled to be chosen.
"It's a wonderful, wonderful organization, and a wonderful collection of musicians," he said.
However, his appointment will not interrupt his work with the West Michigan Symphony, he said. Speck said he will continue to work with the symphony, especially as it opens a new performance hall in the Russell Block Building on West Western Avenue in downtown Muskegon, possibly sometime this year.
"If anything, I see my role with the West Michigan Symphony continuing to expand," Speck said, adding that he will be involved in setting up programming at the new space, which will include smaller, more intimate performances by musicians.
His appointment will add to an already busy schedule, though. In addition to working with the West Michigan Symphony, Joffrey Ballet and the Chicago Philharmonic, Speck is also the music director for the Mobile Symphony in Alabama.
He said he's not daunted by the work ahead of him.
"Music energizes me," Speck said. "Although it's a hard work profession, I don't see it as exhausting. I see it as energizing."
He also sees it as a way to promote the West Michigan Symphony beyond the county's borders.
"It's a chance to spread the good word about the West Michigan Symphony as far as possible across this country," he said.
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