Toledo Symphony Names New Music Director

Montreal native Alain Trudel brings background of education

Published Friday, June 9, 2017 10:32 am


The Toledo Symphony Orchestra today announced the signing of acclaimed Canadian conductor Alain Trudel as its new Music Director beginning in the fall of 2018, the start of the TSO’s 75th season. Until then, Trudel, who will turn 51 on Tuesday, June 13, will serve as the TSO’s Music Director Designate. He will conduct two performances in the 2017-2018 season, including the music of Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Berlioz, and Mozart.

He will be Music Director Designate from June 9, 2017 to June 30, 2018. His three-year contract as Music Director will run from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2021.

Toledo audiences saw Trudel, a Montreal native, two months ago. He led the Symphony in the April 7 and 8 Classics concerts, which featured Grammy Award-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich. Maestro Trudel earned standing ovations for his interpretation of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. 

“Alain’s appointment concludes a two-year search for our next Music Director,” said TSO President & CEO Zak Vassar. “In his evaluation, he received unanimous support from the Toledo Symphony’s musicians, trustees, search committee, and staff,” Vassar added. “I look forward to working with Alain and beginning an exciting new chapter in the TSO story.”

“The Symphony is extremely fortunate to attract a conductor as gracious and talented as Alain Trudel,” said Randy Oostra, chairman of the TSO Board of Trustees and President and CEO of ProMedica. “He quickly connected to the musicians and the audience when he was here in April. His joy for music is obvious, and he will share that joy not only with our audiences, but also with individuals and groups throughout the communities of northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. “

Trudel is delighted to join the team of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. "I am very excited to join such a great family of artists who share my common goals of excellence, education, and community involvement," Trudel said. "I am humbled to be entrusted with the leadership of the orchestra and look forward to leading us all to new heights of artistry and relevance in our community."

Trudel has a strong history of symphonic leadership. He is Music Director of l’Orchestre Symphonique de Laval (Quebec) and Principal Youth and Family Conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ontario), Principal Guest Conductor of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, and Guest Musical Advisor for the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.

In addition, Trudel led the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) Radio Orchestra, taking the ensemble to new heights of artistic quality as well as public and critical acclaim.

“Alain Trudel is profound, thoughtful, and loving,” said Marie-Pierre Rolland, Directrice Générale of l’Orchestre Symphonique de Laval. “He is a hard-working person, with a great sense of humor. He also is a brilliant communicator who puts the public upfront in every aspect of his artistic actions."

“Alain is a marvellous conductor who can bring out the best of musicians and soloists,” Rolland added. “His intimate knowledge of the repertoire and his sense of interpretation enables the music to flourish and reach high levels of passion and grace.”

Trudel was first known to the public as a trombonist, making his solo debut at the age of 18 with Charles Dutoit and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal. Since then, he has appeared as guest soloist with orchestras on five continents including l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and The Austrian Radio Orchestra, and recorded numerous albums. 

He has the distinction of having a Yamaha brand trombone mouthpiece named for him. The mouthpiece has a unique rim and cup design that makes a trombone suited for orchestral as well as solo use.

In addition to his numerous career accomplishments, Trudel has remained devoted to mentoring the new generation of musicians. He served as Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, and has been regularly invited to conduct the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Trudel is keenly interested in the Toledo Symphony’s education and community outreach initiatives and plans to be highly involved in the TSO’s educational mission.

“He is dedicated to youths,” Laval’s Rolland said. “He helps kids to learn about music or to improve their play,” she said.

Trudel replaces Stefan Sanderling at the TSO podium. Sanderling left the Symphony in May after 15 seasons as Principal Conductor.

The complete list of previous conductors and their time at TSO:

  • Hans Lange (1946–1949)
  • Joseph Hawthorne (1955–1963)
  • Serge Fournier (1964–1979)
  • Joseph Silverstein (interim director 1979–1980)
  • Yuval Zaliouk (1980–1989)
  • Ole Schmidt (interim director 1989–1991)
  • Andrew Massey (1991–2002)
  • Stefan Sanderling (2003–2017)

Laval’s Rolland concluded, “Long live this beautiful association between Alain Trudel, the Symphony, and the residents of Toledo!”

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