Las Vegas Philharmonic players will have to wait another year for a new music director. The parade of job applications will be extended through mid-2014. Buying out former maestro David Itkin's contract* freed up all of the current season’s concerts as a means to audition potential replacements, with the hope that his successor could be found by summer. However, Monday’s announcement of the 2013-14 concert lineup revealed that Philharmonic CEO Jeri Crawford continues to hunt, partly to avoid “buyer’s remorse” and partly to give Philharmonic musicians exposure to more maestri, including the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sarah Hicks. Presumptive frontrunners include return visitors Case Scaglione (who opens the season Sept. 28) and Steven Jarvi, promoted from the pops-concert ghetto to a heavyweight Nov. 23 concert commemorating JFK’s assassination. Baton duties for two concerts are still “TBA,” meaning that other 2012-13 guest conductors may return. So we’re still in the early innings, sports fans.
*Note: The original wording stated Itkin was "given the sack," which Itkin's manager contested. Itkin sent a letter to the Las Vegas Philharmonic in May of 2012 declaring that after the June 30, 2013 expiration of his contract, he would not stay on as music director -- an early resignation with intent to finish out his term. Despite Itkin’s desire to complete that season, the Philharmonic bought out the remainder of his contract, which he characterized in a Las Vegas Sun interview as “unprecedented and personally insulting” -- an “accelerated exit,” rather than a sacking, clarifies writer David McKee.