Conductor Jorge Mester joins Young Musicians Foundation
Conductor Jorge Mester -- who departed the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra last year under uncertain circumstances -- has found a new job as the artistic director of the Young Musicians Foundation. His new appointment with the L.A. organization will be for the 2011-12 season.
The Young Musicians Foundation, founded in 1955, works to promote classical music for people ages 8 to 25. The organization's main program is the Debut Orchestra, which features young musicians performing in free public concerts throughout the year.
Mester is expected to serve as a conducting mentor for the organization. He will also lead auditions in September and conduct a concert scheduled for Nov. 6 that will feature a performance of John Adams' Shaker Loops and Bizet's Symphony in C Major.
Prior to his new post, Mester served on the YMF Music Advisory Board for 12 years.
YMF also said that Mester is in the "preliminary stages" of developing an expanded conducting program that will enable the organization to train a larger number of conductors.
Last year, Mester abruptly left his position as music director of the Pasadena Symphony after 25 years. At the time, the conductor said he was fired by the orchestra's management. Leaders of the financially challenged orchestra claimed that Mester resigned.
Mester also holds leadership posts with the Louisville Orchestra in Kentucky and Naples Philharmonic Orchestra in Florida. The Louisville Orchestra is currently going through bankruptcy proceedings, with contract negotiations with musicians at a stalemate.
In December, the Naples Philharmonic decided not to renew Mester's contract past 2012.
-- David Ng
Photo: Jorge Mester conducting the Pasadena Symphony in 2010. Credit: Ann Johansson / For The Times