WHEELING SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA NAMES JOHN DEVLIN AS THE ORCHESTRA’S NEW MUSIC DIRECTOR
(Wheeling, WV) Wheeling Symphony Orchestra (WSO) is thrilled to announce that John Devlin has been selectedto succeed André Raphel as the organization’s next Music Director. Devlin, 33, has had a series of impressive appointments as assistant conductor as well as guest conducting appearances at major American orchestras, and is now energized to assume command as Wheeling’s full-time new leader.
“John Devlin is not only a talented conductor and musician, but also someone who has demonstrated an ability to create innovative musical programs that combine different styles of music. He has found new ways to engage audiences in immersive and interactive events,” said Lou Khourey, President of Wheeling Symphony Society’s Board of Directors. “A Music Director is far more than a conductor. A Music Director is the source of an orchestra’s artistic vision, its musical excellence and its connection and relevance to its community. This last role was a constant focus in our search process, and we expect that John Devlin will lead the WSO in bringing music and music education into communities throughout the Ohio Valley.”
Devlin comes to Wheeling after serving tenures as Cover Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra and the Assistant Conductor of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his work with national and regional orchestras, Devlin designs concerts that frame orchestral music in new and innovative ways and has inspired many forward-looking concepts such as Gourmet Symphony, of which he is the Founding Artistic Director, Go-Go Symphony, Seamless Symphony, Interactive Symphony, and the New Retro Project. Devlin is currently completing his tenure as the Music Director of the Hawaii Youth Symphony, a statewide program serving 650 young students, and as Artistic Director of the Pacific Music Institute.
“I feel certain that I have found a perfect musical home with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra,” said John Devlin. “When I conducted my concerts with the WSO this spring, I felt an electric musical connection with the players of the orchestra, all of whom are world-class artists. This connection will be the centerpiece of the journey ahead that I now embark upon, alongside the dedicated and talented board, staff, volunteers, and musical community surrounding the WSO. The Wheeling community has expressed to me a vision for the future of the orchestra that resonates with me completely as an innovator and as an artistic leader. I cannot wait for the work to begin.”
Devlin joins the WSO after an exhaustive 18-month nationwide search and a year of Music Director finalists conducting the orchestra. In the 2018-19 season, he conducted Brahms’ Symphony no. 4 and a series of songs performed by bass Soloman Howard, and Once upon a Time featuring Broadway star Sierra Boggess.
“For all of our committee, choosing a new Music Director became an unexpected journey of pride that we hope the entire community will share,” said Paul T. Tucker, chair of the Music Director Search Committee. “John Devlin will be only the ninth Music Director in the entire 90-year history of the WSO. Please welcome him and his family with the enthusiasm and warmth so characteristic of the Ohio Valley.”
Devlin will begin his tenure with the WSO by leading the orchestra on Labor Day Weekend beginning with Music Under the Stars. He will continue to conduct the subscription concerts season as well as Ohio Valley’s annual holiday event, Symphony On Ice.
“My wife Camille and I are thankful to have been given this opportunity,” added John Devlin. “We look forward to helping continue the WSO’s legacy of greatness into its 90th year and beyond.”