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Classical 101

Jean-Marie Zeitouni to the Columbus Symphony: Its Official

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[AUDIO] It was the worst kept secret in Columbus in recent days but today it was [caption id="attachment_14971" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Jean-Marie Zeitouni"][/caption] officially announced that Jean-Marie Zeitouni is the new music director of the Columbus Symphony. He takes up a four year appointment and the point was made by many at today's press conference that "Jean-Marie will be living in Columbus." Good! His recent performances with the Columbus Symphony have been warmly received by audiences and certainly by the musicians (and they've suffered enough, on several fronts).  Bassoonist Betsy Sturdevant, who was on the search committee, reported that at one of Jean-Marie's first rehearsals in Columbus he got "the buzz" from all of her colleagues and the whispers went down the line: "Betsy, don't let this guy get away." Zeitouni is a native of Montreal. He's 36 years old. He's conducted opera in Canada, in Cincinnati and New York. Zeitouni was for many years associated with Canada's superb baroque orchestra, Les Violons du Roy. This is a young conductor with ample musical pedigree. And of course, he's a hockey fan: [audio:JMHOCKEY.mp3] Zeitouni compared the search process that brought him to Columbus to dating: [audio:JMDATING.mp3] Here's a YouTube clip that includes footage of our new music director in rehearsal in Canada: [youtube DGLt30CrZXI 490 344] In summary: He's young, attractive, superbly trained in music with impressive performance credentials, he's a sports fan, charming and sincere. What's not to love? Jean-Marie Zeitouni makes his debut as music director of the Columbus Symphony with concerts this weekend in the Ohio Theater: Saturday at 8 PM (broadcast live on WOSU 89-7) and Sunday at 3. Ravel's  Sheherazade, three sensual songs to poetry by Tristan Klingsor (I'm guessing that's a pseudonym) opens the program [audio:JMRAVEL.mp3] along with Debussy's La mer and Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. Don't 'type' this guy at all. He seems to move with great ease from the baroque to today. --Christopher Purdy