San Luis Obispo Symphony selects new maestro

Jun 13, 2017

The San Luis Obispo Symphony announced the selection of maestro Andrew Sewell as the orchestra’s next music director. 

The organization made the selection after a year and a half-long global search. 133 conductors from around the world applied, and that number was narrowed down to a final five. Over the past several months, each of the five finalists visited for a round of interviews and some guest conducting. The symphony's board president said in a statement it was Sewell’s musicianship and warm rapport with the orchestra that stood out.

A native of New Zealand, Sewell came to the United States in 1988 to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan.

“It was initially going to be for a couple of years, but as you can see, it ended up being a lot longer than that,” Sewell said, adding he became a U.S. citizen in 2007.

Over the past three decades, Sewelll has led orchestras all over the United State, Asia, New Zealand, Mexico and many international cities. As a musician, he plays the violin, piano and cornet. According to his biography, he began conducting when he was 16 years old.

Sewell says now that he’s been selected to lead the San Luis Obispo Symphony, he eager to grow the organization’s reach.

“I want to see us rise to the best of its ability and make a name for San Luis Obispo, that the symphony here is doing a great job and it’s worth hearing,” Sewell said. “I’m looking forward to seeing if we can get recordings of our concerts going, and a lot of great things are about to happen.”

The symphony’s 2017 season begins on October 7.