The Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra’s third Music Director Finalist, Michelle Merrill, will conduct a Classics concert on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at the Victory Theatre at 7 PM. This season brings five conductors, narrowed down from over 200 applicants, to audition for the next EPO Music Director.

Michelle Merrill has been inspiring audiences throughout the country with her sharply detailed and vibrant performances. A passionate and dynamic artist, she served four years as the Associate Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Currently, in addition to her growing guest conducting schedule, Ms. Merrill also serves as Music Director of the Coastal Symphony of Georgia where she has ignited the growth and expansion of the orchestra’s offerings both on and off the stage.

Ms. Merrill’s most recent and upcoming conducting engagements include the Orchestre national d’Ile-de-France, San Francisco Opera, National Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestras, and Round Top Music Festival Institute. In past seasons, she has conducted concerts with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic, Orlando Philharmonic, Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera, and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, where she formerly served as Assistant Conductor.

Born in Dallas, TX, Ms. Merrill studied conducting with Dr. Paul C. Phillips at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts, where she holds a Master of Music Degree in conducting and a Bachelor of Music in performance. Apart from music, she loves cooking, running, hiking, and spending time with her husband, Steve Merrill, who serves as the principal percussionist of the Jacksonville Symphony, and their toddler son, Davis.

The concert will also feature violinist Richard Lin performing one of the most well-known and most cherished of all classical music, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. Lin is the 2018 Gold Medalist of the Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. His performance style is described as bold and assertive with a clarity of sound production, clarity of musical intention, and clarity about the larger picture.

Highlights of Mr. Lin’s 2019-2020 season include concerto engagements with the Indianapolis, Montclair and Chippewa Valley symphonies as well as the New Mexico and Marion philharmonics in the United States. Multiple recitals in Dallas, New York, Washington, D.C., and Poland will culminate in a Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium recital debut in June 2020. In Asia, Richard will tour Vietnam with the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra.

Richard began his violin studies at the age of four. He gave his public debut at age eleven performing the Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No. 3 with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra. Richard graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School where he studied with Aaron Rosand and Lewis Kaplan respectively.

The evening’s concert begins with Overture to The Magic Flute , the last opera written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Like the opera, the Overture blends comedy and profundity. Aaron Copland’s quintessential and immensely popular Appalachian Spring follows, and Hungarian György Ligeti’s Concert Românesc concludes the concert. A fine example of Ligeti’s folk style, the work draws inspiration from memories of his childhood and transforms the orchestra into a gigantic village band.

The schedule will be as follows: Rehearsal: Friday, November 15, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM Rehearsal: Saturday, November 16, 10:30 AM -1:10PM Concert: Saturday, November 16, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

The Concert Sponsor is Koch Foundation and the Guest Artist Sponsor is D-Patrick Automobile Dealerships.

PUBLIC MEET & GREET Prior to the opening night concert, we invite the community to get involved with the music director search. There will be a Meet & Greet with Conductor Michelle Merrill at Damsel Brew Pub located at 209 N Wabash Ave of Flags on Wednesday, November 13 from 4:30 – 5:45 PM where the public will be welcomed to meet Michelle Merrill.

About the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra: Under the leadership of Music Director Alfred Savia, the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra has become the largest non-profit performing arts institution in the Tri-State area with a commitment to artistic excellence, diverse and creative programming inside and outside its historic Victory Theatre home, its engagement with communities throughout the state of Indiana and its ambitious approaches to music education, performance and collaboration. In the decades since its founding in 1934, the EPO has presented a range of classical, pops, family and holiday programming to hundreds of thousands of people each year.