The conductor competition continues for the York Symphony Orchestra in search for a new artistic leader.

David Itkin, a conductor and composer, will lead an audition concert with the YSO at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, 50 N. George St. in York City.

Featured pieces from his upcoming audition concert will include Mozart: Overture to The Magic Flute; Shostakovich: Cello Concerto; and Dvorak: Symphony No. 8.

Itkin said he is eager to audition before a community that has taken the arts into its heart, as evidenced by its longtime support of the orchestra.

"When I was in York in May, I got to be in the lobby at the concert of the orchestra and there was so much fun, excitement and enthusiasm for the event," he said. "I met so many people with so much support and care for this orchestra."

Experience: Itkin, 56, of Dallas, currently serves as conductor and music director at the Abilene Philharmonic in Texas. He also is a professor of music and director of orchestral studies at the University of North Texas College of Music in Denton, Texas.

As a YSO conductor, Itkin said his main focus would be on the artistic growth of the musicians within the orchestra.

He said he also would reach out to "the audience the orchestra doesn't have" by presenting programs that will introduce them to the orchestra's work.


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Itkin was selected as a YSO conductor finalist from more than 115 candidates from around the world. His performance is the second of three audition concerts being held through March.

Lawrence Golan did the first audition concert in November.

Evaluation: The auditions will be evaluated by members of the YSO search committee, orchestra musicians, board of directors and the audience. The new conductor is scheduled to be announced to the public in May.

The new conductor will replace Robert Hart Baker, who retired from the position last year having served with YSO for 30 years. The orchestra has had only nine different music directors in its 81-year history, said Ken Wesler, its executive director, in a statement.

"We take this selection process very seriously, and we will carefully consider feedback from the search committee, patrons and musicians," he said.

—Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.