Two years after Coeur d’Alene Symphony artistic director and conductor David Demand announced his resignation after 15 years with the orchestra, there’s a new face in town.
That face belongs to Jan Pellant.
Pellant, a native of the Czech Republic, has been music director of the Lexington Chamber Orchestra in Kentucky since 2015.
He studied at the Prague Academy of the Performing Arts, has earned degrees from the Prague Conservatory and Carnegie Mellon University, and is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate in orchestra conducting at the University of Kentucky.
He has conducted with a number of symphonies including the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic and has also led concert tours in Romania, China and France.
Symphony supporters got a first look at Pellant during the 40th Anniversary Celebration in August, but Pellant will make his official debut with the symphony this weekend when he conducts “Nineteenth Century Grandeur.”
“Nineteenth Century Grandeur” features guest soloist Felicity James on violin.
Pellant recently stopped by the Spokesman-Review to talk about his first impression of Coeur d’Alene and his hopes for the future of the symphony.
The final round took eventually four weeks so being almost four weeks in Coeur d’Alene might give a big chance to really see what was going on. I just remembered when I came to this area, I found, maybe it’s because I haven’t seen so many things from this great country, but I felt like in some way, this is a little similar to my homeland, Czech Republic, having at least from the landscapes and the way how people are so welcoming. It’s a nice place.
We are aiming for creating a unique sound of the orchestra. … To have a unique sound is something you can very rarely see and hear so it starts from making sure that all the sections in the orchestra are trying to create one same color, one same sound because we have 60 to 70 people on stage, brass, woodwinds, strings, percussion and totally unify all these great sounds into one.
It’s hard work of course. It’s not always by having necessarily the greatest time ever. … Hopefully there are not so many tears in the eyes but really we are trying to make sure that we are doing our best we can. Like I said, there are so many orchestras in the world and to be able to succeed internationally, that’s not easy. But I can see great potential in the orchestra and also in the city. It’s a beautiful place for making music, beautiful lake, beautiful nature. That also helps to make beautiful art. All these small details.
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