Something is not right about the Juneau Symphony’s search for a new conductor. Of the more than 70 reported applicants for the position, I am aware of two highly qualified candidates with impeccable credentials, close ties to Alaska, local references and a genuine interest in serving this community. One is a cover conductor at The Met who, despite including James Levine as a reference and expressing a willingness to move to Juneau, was not even given a courtesy email informing him that his application had been received and rejected.
The other is Juneau’s own conductor in residence, Maestro William Todd Hunt. Maestro Hunt has paid his dues as JSO’s resident conductor for many years, and proved his gravitas at both music directing and conducting with his magnificent Russian Romantics concert last fall, featuring Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony and scenes from Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov. If the board and symphony players truly intend to take input from the community into consideration, Maestro Hunt should be given an opportunity to conduct the fourth concert of the 2014-2015 season and be included as one of the four finalists.