His final concert with the ensemble will be an all-
After Chagnard leaves, the Sinfonietta will move to a different leadership model, where a team of conductors rotate through as artistic partners on a multiyear basis. It's a similar model to that of the highly successful
"I thought that the 25th anniversary would be a good time for me to move on," said Chagnard of his departure. "It gave me a real sense of accomplishment -- a quarter-century. But then we wondered, would it seem better for the anniversary to end an era or begin it? We discussed it a lot, then decided to make it a beginning."
After its co-founding by Chagnard and keyboardist
Beginning with the anniversary season of 2015-16, the new artistic partnership model -- a board-initiated idea -- will allow a greater diversity of conducting styles and repertoire, and also provides an opportunity for the musicians themselves to be more equal musical partners in the group's leadership, Chagnard said.
"It's very attractive for musicians," he said. "It's exciting for them to work with different directors."
The board has been working closely with
"We are excited for this time of ambition and experimentation at Northwest Sinfonietta," said Birnbaum and board President
Meanwhile, Chagnard will see the orchestra through the 2014-15 season before embarking on new projects -- including a privately commissioned symphony about climate change, and helping raise his third child, just born in March -- and continuing old ones, such as his 10-year directorship of the
But Chagnard will miss the orchestra he helped create.
"It's my baby," he said. "It's like taking your child to college, that fateful day when you leave them there and drive away in tears. The Northwest Sinfonietta has been at the center of my life for 24 years. I've given everything to it."
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