Rockford Symphony Orchestra Update
     After 30 years of leading the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, music director Steven Larsen will retire at the end of the 2020-21 season.
Larsen is credited for guiding RSO to new levels of achievement since 1991.
     Under Larsen's tenure, the orchestra has moved from the Midway Theatre to the Coronado Performing Arts Center, added a Pops Series and was named the 2007 Illinois Orchestra of the Year.
     “When I moved to Rockford in 1991, the RSO performed five concerts a year. Today we play three times that number, and the RSO has become the region’s premier performing arts organization," says Larsen.
     "It is time for fresh, visionary leadership that can take the RSO to new levels. I love this orchestra; it can play almost anything of excellence usually reserved for major symphonies in large cities. I look forward to welcoming our next Maestro or Maestra!”
     The new music director will begin in the 2022-23 season. The RSO has assembled a search committee with community members, board members and RSO musicians to lead the process of hiring a new director.
     Mr. Larsen is celebrating his 28th anniversary as Music Director of the RSO in the 2019-20 season. His tenure has brought both local and national recognition to the orchestra. In 1999, 2006, and 2016 he was named Illinois Conductor of the Year and is a recipient of the Mayor's Arts Award for Individual Achievement.
     Maestro Larsen has worked with dozens of orchestras in the United States and Europe, including the Opera Theater of San Antonio, the Chicago Opera Theater, Lyric Opera Cleveland, the Minnesota Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Light Opera of Chicago and the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra.
     Steve will discuss the future of RSO along with his personal plans for the future.  Steve is a former long time member of Rockford Rotary.  This will be an interesting and informative program and an excellent opportunity to bring a guest or prospective member.  Julie Thomas, who is the Executive Director of RSO, will introduce our presenter and act as Rotary Host.