Good things are happening to the Vegas Philharmonic

Las Vegas Philharmonic conductor David Itkin.
Photo: Sam Morris

Classical-music lovers might want to put their holiday gift money toward next season’s Las Vegas Philharmonic concerts. Conductor David Itkin, who in 2007 beat out more than 250 applicants for his job, has signed another three-year contract, renewable to five years.

That means at least three more seasons of riveting performances, solid musicianship and enthusiastic audiences (so enthusiastic that a guest violinist received a standing ovation after playing just the first movement of a multi-movement piece).

The organization has also apparently pulled itself out of its December 2008 financial scare and board turbulence. Jeri Crawford, board president and chief financial officer says the organization is out of the hole and moving forward with plans to grow into a full-time orchestra. It’s adding a Rising Stars concert to its masterworks season and expanding its education programs (with a new educational director) to include a summer arts camp. It’s also providing virtual tours at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts offices to Philharmonic audiences for a (hopefully) smooth transition into the new hall mid 2011-12 season, which will include raised ticket prices.

And did we mention that Itkin is staying on board?

“I love the orchestra and my musician colleagues,” the conductor and music director said this week.

“I’m incredibly proud of the work that we’ve done artistically and the progress the orchestra has made in three years. There’s more to be done. And in another 14 months we’ll be in the Smith Center.”

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