Mario Venzago, longtime music director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, stepped down from his post at the podium after he and the orchestra failed to reach a compromise on his contract. Venzago had been the conductor for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra since 2002, and he was a respected fixture at the Hilbert Circle Theatre, the Indianapolis performing arts venue where the orchestra routinely performs.
Temporarily replacing Venzago is the former music director of the orchestra, Raymond Leppard. Leppard was the official maestro of the orchestra from 1987 to 2001, but has stepped in for Venzago on two separate occasions before the current replacement. Leppard will conduct the orchestra’s Opening Gala on September 26th in addition to the Classical Series concert on September 25th.
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is currently looking for a full time replacement, as Leppard’s appointment is only temporary. In an interview with the Indianapolis Star, president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras Jesse Rosen said: “Audiences need to have a point of view of this as not an in-between time, but a period of great opportunity — a chance to look at a lot of new conductors and maybe hear some new pieces.”
It’s both an exciting and uncertain time for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, but this bastion of the Indianapolis music community has enough history and talented members to be equal to the challenge.