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Andrew Crust takes the stage as VSO’s new music director

07/03/2023 08:59AM ● By Janani Varatharajan

Joining the Vermont Symphony Orchestra (VSO) with an impressive resume, Andrew Crust will direct his first show as music director on Sept. 30. He joins the VSO as its fifth music director.

“I am overjoyed and deeply grateful to the musicians, staff, and board of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra for choosing me to be the orchestra’s next musical leader in its 89th season,” Crust said. “I want to also recognize the immense impact of outgoing Music Director Jamie Laredo, whose artistic vision shaped this orchestra over two decades and paved the way for exciting new growth in the future.”

Crust first performed with the VSO in February and said he was impressed by the orchestra’s artistic quality, sense of pride, and willingness to explore and adapt to the modern world. “I am very much looking forward to the impactful and transformative work we will do together in the coming seasons,” he said.

Although much of the current season has been planned, Crust is excited to map out the VSO’s 90th season in 2024/2025. He will play a key role in choosing programming and fleshing out VSO’s artistic vision. This includes diverse programming and collaborations with local creative professionals, world-class guest artists, and young local talent. He plans to offer audiences “a healthy dose of the ever-relevant ‘classics’ while also celebrating and cultivating the work of living composers.”

Elise Brunelle, executive director of VSO, said she knew Crust was a great match for the VSO when he came as guest conductor in February. “I’m convinced of his knowledge and confidence as a conductor and communicator, and his understanding of musicians’ needs and experience. Andrew has a wealth of inspiring ideas to take us forward, is enthusiastic about music education and our statewide role, and has a true love of Vermont.”

The American/Canadian conductor is known for his versatile international career as a conductor of orchestral, opera, ballet, film, pops, and choral programs. Crust has conducted several symphonies, including Vancouver, San Diego, Memphis, Hartford, Nova Scotia, and others. He has collaborated with soloists such as Tracy Silverman, George Li, Charles Yang, Rufus Wainwright, Michael Bolton, and more. Previously, he was associate conductor of the Vancouver and Memphis symphonies and the National Youth Orchestra; conductor of the Memphis Youth Symphony Program; and music director of the Lima Symphony.

Crust has composed orchestral arrangements of several prominent composers as well as edu- cational programs. He also has earned several prizes and residencies for his work. 

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