A new era of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra began this fall under the baton of Maestro Charles Latshaw, who made his debut as the orchestra’s musical director recently.
This is the 68th season of the FSO, which is the largest and most active nonprofit performing arts organization in northern Arizona.
We’ve previously talked about the economic impact of the arts in this space, particularly in light of the 2017 Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 report, that indicates the arts and sciences add close to $90 million annually to the local economy.
The FSO is a big part of that impact, employing 60 musicians and performing before an audience totaling more than 14,000 each season.
Latshaw was selected for the post from last season’s “audition” concerts led by the four final candidates to replace Elizabeth Schulze, who had conducted the FSO for almost a decade.
The new music director’s resume is full of impressive posts, including Music Director of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra in Colorado, director of the Kent State University Orchestra and Artistic Director and Conductor of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra in Indiana.
The graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music was selected by members of the Vienna Philharmonic to be the Herbert von Karajan conducting fellow in 2007.
This year he leads the orchestra in a season full of classical music, holiday favorites like The Nutcracker, and a contemporary turn with a special “Motown & Classics” concert. The season will end in April with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.
Having the talent and community support to sustain a symphony orchestra is an amazing asset for Flagstaff. The strength of our region’s cultural environment is part of what attracts tourists and businesses to our area and helps us keep the businesses already here.
You can learn more about the FSO, Mr. Latshaw and the orchestra’s 68th season on their website.