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Andrew Mogrelia Resigns as Conductor

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From Links today comes the news that Andrew Mogrelia has resigned as Music Director of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, effective at the end of this season. The orchestra has played so beautifully under his direction during the last two years.

I don't have a more articulate reaction to this news than: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO..."

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I found this very surprising, particularly in light of the article in the Chronicle just a month or so ago about how happy he was with SFB and how happy the company was with him. Something pretty significant must have happened recently. I'll miss him too.

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Here is the SFB press release on this issue:


April 16, 2005


Maestro To Focus On International Orchestral Conducting Schedule and Music Director Duties At The San Francisco Conservatory of Music

SAN FRANCISCO – April 16, 2005 – San Francisco Ballet announced today the resignation of Music Director and Principal Conductor Andrew Mogrelia effective at the end of the company’s current repertory season May 8, 2005. Mogrelia will focus on his music director duties at San Francisco Conservatory of Music and international conducting and recording engagements. He will lead and conduct a special community concert celebrating the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra’s 30th Anniversary on Sunday, April 24, 2005.

“Andrew has brought a vitality and extraordinary standard of excellence to our Ballet Orchestra for the past two years,” said Helgi Tomasson, San Francisco Ballet Artistic Director. “I have enjoyed working with him and greatly appreciate his musical expertise and integrity.”

Mogrelia will be returning to a more active schedule of international guest conductor engagements and recording projects, including upcoming appearances with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the English National Ballet at Royal Albert Hall in London and concert work with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow. He also was recently appointed music director for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Orchestra, where he will conduct regular public concerts and oversee guest conductor assignments and workshops.

“Being part of a company as prestigious and highly acclaimed as San Francisco Ballet has been hugely rewarding, “ said Mogrelia. “While I will greatly miss working in-residence with the Company and especially this brilliant ensemble of musicians, I am excited by the ability to again accept a number of varied guest conducting opportunities both here and abroad and embark upon my new duties at the Conservatory. In the meantime, I look forward to conducting the Ballet Orchestra in our upcoming 30th Anniversary Concert.”

Mogrelia has conducted orchestras across the globe, including the Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, Royal Scottish, Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Dutch Radio Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. From 1992 to 2002, Mogrelia was conductor-in-residence at Birmingham Conservatoire. Mogrelia also has an extensive discography for Naxos and Marco Polo, including orchestral works by Handel, Suk, Novak and numerous complete ballets by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Delibes and Adam, many of which received critical awards. He has worked previously with numerous ballet companies, including the English National, Dutch National, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Finnish National, Norwegian National, American Ballet Theater, Australian Ballet and West Australian Ballet.

San Francisco Ballet plans to appoint a new music director and principal conductor as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified.

San Francisco Ballet Orchestra Anniversary Concert for the Community

Founded in October 1975, the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra celebrates its 30th Anniversary this season with a special community concert at the War Memorial Opera House on Sunday, April 24 at 2:00 p.m. Conducted by Music Director and Principal Conductor Andrew Mogrelia, the performance includes Stravinsky’s Divertimento, “The Fairy’s Kiss,” R. Strauss’ Oboe Concerto and Schumann’s

Symphony No. 2. Tickets are $10 each and are available online at www.sfballet.org or by phone at (415) 865-2000. Net proceeds will benefit San Francisco Ballet’s community outreach programs.

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