ISO conductor Deal to step down after 11 years

ISO conductor Deal to step down after 11 years

By Dan Craft | | Posted: Thursday, May 5, 2011 7:00 am |

 Karen Lynne Deal, in her formal Masterworks concert mode, circa 2005, when the Illinois Symphony Orchestra was still playing in ISU’s Braden Auditorium. (Pantagraph file photo)

In its relatively short lifetime (18 years), the Illinois Symphony Orchestra has known but two conductors: Kenneth Kiesler, who commanded the podium from 1993 to 2000, and Karen Lynne Deal, who has wielded the baton over the 11 seasons since.

The symphony will know a third conductor in due course after five finalists contend for the position over the course of the impending 2011-12 season.

Until then, it will be a time of transition, as Deal steps up to the podium for her last stanzas with the ISO.

The Twin City audience will bid adieu at 8 p.m. Friday in the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, followed by the Springfield audience Saturday night in the U of I at Springfield’s Sangamon Auditorium.

By coincidence, that last concert is also Deal’s birthday, her 54th –meaning the ISO has occupied a fifth of her lifetime.

In her time here, the self-professed “people person” has been a hit with her patrons, who’ve responded in kind to her outgoing personality — both inside the concert hall and out.

complete story here.

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