SWFL symphony drops director

Maestro Michael Hall of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra

Maestro Michael Hall of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra

The Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra's management has elected not to renew the contract of Music Director Michael Hall.

The decision was announced this morning in a news release from the symphony.

The announcement said Hall "will pursue other options on his career path and we wish him the best in his endeavors. We thank him for his service and musical contributions to our community."

The 2012-2013 season will be presented as programmed at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers and various offsite "runout" venues. The concerts will be led by guest conductors

An international search process will take place to appoint a new music director for the orchestra, the release said.

A telephone call to the offices is awaiting response.

This leaves both symphony orchestras in Southwest Florida without music directors. The Naples Philharmonic Orchestra's former music director, Jorge Mester, conducted his last concert in early April. His contract was not renewed, either..

Kathleen van Bergen, CEO of the Philharmonic Center, has said earlier that its orchestra is also conducting an international search and guest conductors will handle its 2012-2013 season.

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