Symphony NB Announces New Music Director



Conductor Mélanie Léonard (Image: Submitted)

After three years of research, Symphonie Nouveau-Brunswick chose Mélanie Léonard to be its new musical director.

Over 50 conductors from Canada, the United States and Europe applied for the position of the Provincial Symphony Orchestra.

In a statement released Monday, Symphony New Brunswick President Reid Parker said Leonardo has the experience and vision to take the orchestra to the next level and become a more important player on Canada’s orchestral scene. .

The position of Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra includes outreach and community development duties, which Leonard is eager to take on.

“I am so excited for this new challenge, building new relationships and expanding my experience as a professional musician,” says Leonard. “But also, on a human level, I think it’s important to grow and look for opportunities to surpass yourself, and working with Symphony New Brunswick will certainly do that.”

Léonard is the first woman to receive a doctorate in orchestral conducting from the University of Montreal and has worked with renowned artists such as Shauna Rolston, Charles Richard-Hamelin, Herbie Hancock and Isabel Bayrakdarian.

She has conducted several major symphony orchestras across Canada, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Center Orchestra, the Metropolitan Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Les Violons du Roy.

Symphony New Brunswick was one of the few orchestras in Canada to continue performing live during the pandemic. Its 70th anniversary fundraising campaign was incredibly successful and attracted the support of a foundation that gives the symphony a base to continue to grow.

“We have a role beyond music,” says Léonard. “We are part of an artistic ecosystem and an even bigger one. I want to implement inclusive projects and ideas. I want everyone in New Brunswick to feel welcome in the orchestra.

Leonardo’s first performance with Symphonie Nouveau-Brunswick is scheduled for October 22, where she will conduct the music of Mozart, Hétu and Schubert.


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