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Prof. Orcenith Smith Named First-Ever American Artistic Director of Vienna Festival

May 11, 1998

May 11, 1998, Greencastle, Ind. - Orcenith Smith, music director of the DePauw University orchestras and opera, has been named the first-ever American artistic director of the Vienna International Youth and Music Festival from July 8-15, 1998. One of the premier international music festivals for young musicians, the festival celebrated its 25th year in 1997 and is sponsored by the City of Vienna and the Republic of Austria. Orchestras, bands and choirs from around the world are invited to compete for the prestigious Prize of Vienna given by the city's mayor.

Smith will be responsible for the artistic guidance of the festival. He will continue his duties at DePauw while working with the administration of the festival, which includes the general manager of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Rainer Bischoff.

"I am honored to have been selected by the board and management of the festival and look forward to the challenges of this new artistic position in one of the world's1461 great musical capitals," Smith said. "I know that I will very much enjoy encouraging the young musicians that come to the festival from all over the world." 

Michael Haupl, mayor of Vienna, wrote in his letter to festival participants, "It is my belief that joint concertizing of young people of so many nationalities has a world unifying effect, and thus turns the meeting of young musicians often into true friendship."

Formerly music director of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Smith has specialized in working with young musicians. He conducted last year's Indianapolis Symphony "Side-by-Side" which featured high school musicians.

Musical notesSmith has conducted education concerts with the Louisville Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, Lafayette Symphony and Terre Haute Symphony. He conducted all-state high school festival orchestras in Indiana, Kansas, Wisconsin and British Columbia and youth orchestras at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Summer Music Institute at the Cincinnati Conservatory and for concerts in Austria, England and Germany.

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