The SBSO is looking for a new Music Director for the first time in nearly three decades. Five Music Director Candidates will appear on the podium throughout the 2016-17 Season.

In this era where arts organizations are struggling to survive, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra (SBSO) has found a way to thrive. The 84-year old institution’s beloved Music Director retired last season, after 28 years on the SBSO podium. Tsung Yeh, who also conducts the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, was well known in the community as the face of the South Bend Symphony, conducted his final concert in May. This Season, the SBSO is conducting a search for a new artistic leader, who will build upon his legacy.

Days away from its first concert, the SBSO is proud to share some recent successes. Not only did the Symphony manage to turn last year’s projected deficit into a surplus, but it raised a record-breaking $350,000 at its annual Gift of Music gala, and subscription and ticket sales for this Season are now outpacing sales for the past several years. The organization has a new Executive Director and Board President, both of whom are young professionals that seem to be instilling new energy and enthusiasm into their audience and supporters.

The initial job posting for the Music Director’s position generated resumes from almost 200 candidates from all over the world. The Search Committee, through a multi-round process, narrowed the field and ultimately choose five finalists, all of whom have an impressive resume in the orchestral field. The Candidates-Alastair Willis, Stilian Kirov, Jose Luis Novo, Vladimir Kulenovic, Keitaro Harada – hail from across the globe (U.S., Bulgaria, Spain, Serbia, and Japan) and have established conducting careers with orchestras in the U.S. and abroad. The community will have an opportunity to meet each Candidate and see them in action on and off podium. All five will conduct a full Jack M. Champaigne Masterworks Series concert, participate in education and community engagement activities, as well as interface with Board members and various community leaders. After each concert everyone, including the audience, will be asked to provide feedback.

The Candidates have all expressed their excitement for the opportunity to conduct the SBSO on a permanent basis, due not only to the reputation of the orchestra and its high quality musicians, but the dynamic community and South Bend’s proximity to Chicago and Indianapolis. The SBSO hopes to select its new Music Director at the end of this Season.

Details on the South Bend Symphony’s complete 2016-17 Season including Music Director Candidate biographies can be found on