August 27, 2013
Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (BARS) has appointed Dawn Harms as its new music director, following aseason of concerts conducted by four finalist candidates for the position, including Jessica Bejarano, Christian Baldini, and Cyrus Ginwala.
Harms will conduct the 2013-14 season-opening concert on Sept. 7 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, featuring Frederica von Stade in music by Jake Heggie, Trio from Der Rosenkavalier, with Melody Moore and Marisol DeAnda; and Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 2.
BARS is an orchestra that "provides a safe and supportive environment for musicians of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions." "Dawn brings passion, expertise and wonderful musicianship to guide BARS’s artistic course, and the orchestra is thrilled to be working with her," said BARS President Richard Horan in making the announcement.
Harms' musical career includes being a chamber musician, violin soloist, concertmaster, and conductor. She is a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Associate Concertmaster for the New Century Chamber Orchestra, and Co-Concertmaster with the Oakland East Bay Symphony. Harms was also chosen to be one of the Fellows at the exclusive American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival; she is co-founder and music director of the Kirkwood Chamber Music Festival, and serves on the faculty at Stanford University.
Harms' comment on the BARS appointment:
It was kind of overwhelming that it actually has become a reality, because I’ve always loved to conduct on the side. I’m a violinist, and I do many different things, so to me, this is just another page in my book of life. I’ve always loved to conduct, because it brings all of my experience in these areas, all together.
I get to be the leader, but you can’t just lead, you have to be a collaborator with your musicians, as if they’re playing chamber music, and they have to listen, and watch. I love community orchestras — they’re hungry to learn, and eager to make incredible music together.