Anthony Parnther Named Music Director of S.B. Symphony
The San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra has announced that Maestro Anthony Parnther has been appointed as its Music Director beginning with the 2019-20 season. The selection puts an end to a two year long international search for one of California’s oldest professional symphony orchestras. Parnther, the leading candidate out of 10 finalists from throughout the United States and Venezuela, will become the 16th music director since the organization’s founding in 1929.
Maestro Parnther is currently in his ninth season as Music Director of the Southeast Symphony in Los Angeles and recently conductor Joshua Bell, Frederika von Stade, Roderick Williams, Yundi Li, The Canadian Brass, and Cirque de la Symphonie. He has also collaborated onstage and in the recording studio with Rihanna, Imagine Dragons, Kanye West, Alan Walker, and Wu Tang Clan.
Parnther is also a prolific conductor of film, television, and video game scores. Since 2014, he has served as scoring sessions and live concert conductor for e-sports juggernaut, League of Legends, which boasts over 100 million active gamers and is the most played video game on earth. Viewership for League of Legends concerts Anthony has conducted in Beijing, Seoul, Los Angeles, and Barcelona have outpaced the World Series with over 40 million viewers internationally. Among a host of other recording projects this year, he collaborated with film composer Germaine Franco and conducted the Hollywood Studio Symphony on her score for Little (2019), directed by Tina Gordon, starring Marsai Martin, Regina Hall, and Issa Rae, which is currently showing in movie theaters internationally.
Anthony Parnther has garnered considerable praise for his orchestral leadership and has performed throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, China, South Korea, and Czechoslovakia over the last few years. British critic Charlotte Perkins reviewed the maestro during his UK and Spain tour with the London-based Chineke! Orchestra last year, writing, “The enthusiasm of conductor Anthony Parnther spread like fire through the ensemble: here there was no pretension, no expectation, just the simple pleasure of performing – and who knew that Beethoven was so joyful.”
The award-winning Maestro made his debut appearance with the San Bernardino Symphony in October 2017 to conduct Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. Their performance instantly evoked the most rousing and lengthy standing ovation heard in the California Theatre in years, recalls Principal Clarinetist Margaret Worsley. “Maestro Parnther is not only one of the greatest musicians I’ve had the pleasure of working with, but one of the most versatile. He’s an absolute visionary, and I’m beyond thrilled he’ll be leading our organization.”
The challenging program included Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, and a newly commissioned tone poem by Emmy-winning composer John Wineglass, who would later compose Voices of the West, the first commissioned work about San Bernardino. Said Wineglass, “Maestro Anthony Parnther is a phenomenal talent in the concert hall. He managed to bring immense passion, accuracy, and musicianship to Big Sur: The Night Sun. He’s most certainly a tour de force.”
Board President Dean McVay, Esq. believes Parnther will bring new life to the organization. “I am ecstatic with the selection of Anthony Parnther as our new Music Director. Anthony is a ‘musician’s musician.’ He speaks their language. He has the ability to draw out of each musician their very best. I look forward to collaborating with him to continue the upward trajectory our organization has begun.”
Board 1st Vice President Scott Bonner, Esq. agrees. “I cannot express the excitement I have in bringing Anthony Parnther to our great city and symphony. Anthony brings experience as a successful orchestra builder with an undefinable charisma and contagious energy to our orchestra, our beautiful California Theater for the Performing Arts, and to San Bernardino. I can’t wait for the first note!”
The Conductor Search Committee, which included diverse members of the community, musicians, symphony board members, and senior staff, were also impressed with Parnther’s abilities. Board 2nd Vice President Dr. Jay Fiene recalls Parnther’s first rehearsal with the orchestra: “From his first downbeat I could feel the energy and commitment Maestro Parnther had to quality musical performance. I am thrilled that our first choice also made us his choice.”
Executive Director Dr. Anne Viricel summed up this new unfolding chapter in the organization’s history. “The appointment of our new Music Director is yet another strategic step in the extremely positive direction we have been heading since our Board unanimously recommitted to actualizing the artistic vision of our founder James Kelly Guthrie. Maestro Parnther is both dynamic and approachable with a personality as exhilarating as the music we perform. I am looking forward to introducing him to everyone in the community!”
“I am deeply honored to have been selected as the next Music Director of this great orchestra,” said Anthony Parnther, “I am looking forward to fully serving this community and collaborating with this world class group of musicians.”