Friday, August 26, 2011

Richard Niezen to leave ASO after 2011-12 season

Richard Niezen works with a player during auditions in 2009. (Heather L. Smith / The Aurora Sentinel).

After a decade at the helm of the Aurora Symphony Orchestra, Richard Niezen is preparing for his final bow.
The 2011-12 season will be the conductor’s last for Niezen, the ASO’s music director and conductor. During his time with the organization, Niezen has helped build the ensemble from a small group of musicians to one of the most well-respected community orchestras in the state.
“He feels that he’s done as much as he can do with the orchestra,” said Richard Dustin, the ASO’s president and executive director. “He’s done more for that orchestra than any single person since its inception.”

The search for a new music director and conductor has entered its initial phases, but the orchestra won’t name a replacement until 2013, Dustin said.
The ASO is still accepting applications for a director to lead the community orchestra’s five to six yearly concerts and direct its auditions and performances. Requirements for the post include a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in musical arts and a repertoire appropriate for a “community orchestra.”
The deadline for applications is Aug. 31.
The ASO began as a 15-member orchestra in 1977, and has since grown to a 50-plus member ensemble that includes players from across the country. The 2011-12 cycle will be the orchestra’s 33rd season. Performances take place at Gateway High School and elsewhere in the community.
Applicants must submit a letter of introduction; a resume; a list of three references with contact information; a DVD, audio tape or web address of work as a conductor that includes rehearsals and performance; and two copies of a player’s most recent program notes.
Applicants can find a link to an online application form at or send materials to the Aurora Symphony Orchestra, P.O. Box 441481 in Aurora, 80044.

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