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Courtney Lewis appointed new Jacksonville Symphony conductor

By JOHN BURR, Jacksonville Business Journal
May 28, 2014
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The Jacksonville Symphony has ended a two year search for a new musical director, naming Courtney Lewis to replace Fabio Mechetti, who leaves after 14 years leading the symphony.

Lewis, who will debut as the Jacksonville conductor Sept. 26, was recently appointed an assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, and is co-founder and music director of the Discovery Ensemble in Boston, according to a news release. The British conductor, born in Belfast, turns 30 tomorrow.

"We are extremely pleased to announce the appointment of Courtney Lewis as music director," said Martin F. Connor, chair and CEO of the Jacksonville Symphony Association. "This begins an exciting new era for Jacksonville, both in enhancing the orchestra's artistic excellence and bringing music into the community in ways that extend far beyond the concert hall."

During the last season, the symphony invited eight guest conductors to perform with the symphony as tryouts to replace Mechetti. The season ticker holders were asked by symphony managers to give their impressions of the guest conductors.

The naming of a new conductor is an important step for the Jacksonville Symphony, which has been making progress in the last year in attracting more season ticket holders and narrowing budget shortfalls.

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