Winston Salem Symphony Orchestra Names New Music Director

By Francisco Salazar

The Winston Salem Symphony Orchestra has named a new Music Director.

The orchestra said that Michelle Merrill will become the Symphony’s first female Music Director and the only woman to lead a professional orchestra in the Carolinas.

Merrill was one of six candidates in a highly competitive audition process.

In response to her new position, Merrill said, “It is truly a privilege and an honor to be named Music Director of the Winston-Salem Symphony. From the first time I came to the city, I could tell it was a special place, full of vibrancy and innovation. I immediately felt a strong artistic and personal connection with everyone involved in the organization, and I look forward to continuing the traditions that have been cultivated over the past 76 years while adding my own style and perspective. This orchestra has the power to inspire every person who walks through the door with unforgettable musical experiences, and I am incredibly excited to be a part of the symphony’s mission to bring music to life.”

As a conductor, she has served four years as the Assistant and then Associate Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, where she also carried the title of Phillip and Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador. She recently served as the Music Director of the Coastal Symphony of Georgia. She is also a proud recipient of a 2016 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award as well as the prestigious 2013 Ansbacher Conducting Fellowship as awarded by members of the Vienna Philharmonic and the American Austrian Foundation.