For the Reporter
Stewart Kershaw, music director and conductor of the Auburn Symphony Orchestra, has announced his retirement, effective immediately.
Citing personal reasons, Kershaw decided to retire rather than continue through the 2016-17 season as previously planned.
Maestro Kershaw began the Auburn Symphony while he was music director and conductor of the orchestra at Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. He had created the PNB orchestra, acclaimed as one of the best ballet orchestras in America, and in 1997 with the Auburn Symphony, he fulfilled his dream of finding a venue for those talented professional musicians to play from the symphonic repertoire on stage at the Auburn Performing Arts Center.
After his retirement from PNB in 2009, Kershaw remained as conductor of the Auburn Symphony Orchestra. His creative programming, encyclopedic knowledge of composers and music, and a commanding and nuanced conducting technique, brought an extraordinary level of quality and brilliance to the Auburn Symphony concerts under his baton.
Longtime board member Nancy Colson summed up the sentiments of the symphony board:
“Stewart has been the face of the Auburn Symphony for nearly 20 years. He brought us a great orchestra and deepened appreciation of classical music in Auburn and the Puget Sound community. We are grateful for the legacy he created and wish him the very best.”
The ASO season will continue as planned with guest conductors for the remaining concerts. The symphony board will immediately begin a search for Kershaw’s replacement.
The board plans to honor Kershaw for his contribution to the community at a future event.