New Haven Symphony Orchestra music director accepts extension to contract


NEW HAVEN, Conn., (WTNH)– The New Haven Symphony Orchestra’s Board of Directors announced that Alasdair Neale accepted their invitation to new his contract through the 2024 season as the symphony’s music director on Wednesday, Sept. 15.

“Alasdair’s talent as both a conductor and community leader has impacted every element of this orchestra since day one of his tenures. He has made a significant commitment to artistic excellence and has shown a sincere devotion to creating art for and with Have Haven residents, ” said Dr. Keith Churchwell, NHSO Board of Director’s president. ” His impact in New Haven has been profound. We are excited to have him as part of the NHSO family for our next three seasons.”

NHSO says Neale began his career with them at the start of the 2019-2020 season. Neale’s tenure as a music director began with a year-long listening tour in New Haven, opening the conversation to what an orchestra for New Haven could be in the 21st century.

His first concert in New Haven was a free program in June 2019 with guest artists from St. Luke’s Steel Band and Tiempo Libre.

Neale had dreamed of returning to New Haven since being a student at Yale University, and becoming NHSO’s music director fulfilled a long-time dream and reward. “However, the pandemic has shifted my goals and dreams, as it has for so many this past year. My husband and I have done a lot of soul-searching and imagining what the next chapter of our lives will be, and together have decided to move to Paris to be closer to my European side of the family and to experience new adventures beginning in 2024.”

Although Neale’s first season was cut short due to the pandemic, he helped pivot artistic and financial resources to create an extensive array of virtual education programs. Those programs were used by thousands of students worldwide during the pandemic.

Neale also assisted the orchestra program and perform concerts for free at outdoor locations across the city, including parks, storefronts, and at the Canal Dock Boathouse series.

“Although my time in New Haven will be shorter than I originally imagined, I am excited to roll up my sleeves for the next three years and expand upon the momentum we have created so far,” Neale said. “The last two years have proven how adaptable this organization can be, and I think we have a lot of excitement coming our way as we return to orchestra concerts.”

The NHSO will return to full orchestra concerts starting Oct. 3 at the Shubert Theatre with Neale as the music director and music by Beethoven, Price Coleman, and more.

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