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West Virginia Symphony Hires New Music Director

American conductor Maurice Cohn will take on the role, effective immediately


As it enters its 85th season, the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra (WVSO) announced Maurice Cohn as its 11th music director. Cohn will locate to Charleston, West Virginia, in September 2023.

Following an international search of almost two years for the music director role, Cohn was selected from six final candidates, who each spent a week in Charleston learning about WVSO and conducting its musicians in an Elliot Foundation Symphonic Series concert.

Cohn is a two-time recipient of the Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award and recently served as assistant conductor for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

His recent engagements include the Cincinnati Symphony, Utah Symphony, Amarillo Symphony, Colorado Music Festival, and Symphoria New York. 

He also served as assistant conductor for the 2022 Aspen Music Festival, where he will return this year. An alumna of the Festival, Cohn spent two summers there as a conducting fellow, receiving the Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize and the Aspen Conducting Prize.

A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory studying cello performance, history, and mathematics, Cohn also has a master’s degree in conducting from the Eastman School of Music, where he worked frequently with the Eastman orchestras and OSSIA New Music Ensemble.

“I am beyond thrilled to be joining the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra family,” said Cohn. “When I came to perform here in April, I was immediately struck by the energy and passion for music — both from members of the orchestra and everyone in the WVSO community,” he added. “This is a place that cares deeply about the power of music to transform our lives, and I feel incredibly lucky to get to be a part of that exciting project.”

Founded in 1939, the WVSO annually presents classical, pops, family and chamber music concerts throughout the Mountain State. The orchestra also hosts an award-winning education program, which has drawn nation-wide attention.

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