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Assistant Conductor Daniel Black, two new musicians join TFO in fall

Good news: We are adding to our stellar conducting team. The Florida Orchestra has named Daniel Black as assistant conductor, a guiding force for our growing lineup of community concerts. He joins the orchestra in the fall for the 2018-19 season.

Black will program and conduct TFO’s youth, park and other community concerts as well as one concert in each of the Coffee and Pops series. He also will assist Music Director Michael Francis and guest conductors on Masterworks programs and help with other outreach activities. You can see him at one of his first TFO conducting gigs, the free Pops in the Park concerts in Vinoy Park (Oct. 20), presented by Ashley Homestore, and River Tower Park (Oct. 21).

TFO has not had a similar position since 2011. “As our community programs expand, it’s time to make sure they have the unique guidance they deserve,” said TFO General Manager Edward Parsons. “With Daniel Black’s talent, experience and easy rapport, we look forward to seeing these programs grow and thrive as they enrich the lives of thousands of Tampa Bay residents.”

Black stood out from more than 60 applicants to join TFO’s music leadership team, helmed by internationally acclaimed Maestro Francis, Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik and Principal Guest Conductor Stuart Malina, who shepherds TFO’s Coffee series. The Florida Orchestra’s community and education programs reach about 80,000 people in Tampa Bay every season at parks, museums, schools, hospitals and more. For its 50th anniversary last season, TFO set a record for total attendance, with about 215,000 at both paid and free events combined. The orchestra regularly performs in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

Black previously was assistant conductor and then associate conductor at the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (2014-17) and is Director of Instrumental Music at Arkansas’ Wildwood Arts and Music Academy. Black has guest conducted internationally at Dnipro State Opera and Ballet Company (Ukraine) and the St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra (Russia). He is a recognized composer as well.

He recently was named the recipient of a Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, the third time he has received the national honor, which supports emerging young American conductors as they launch their classical careers.

Fluent in Russian, Black has studied conducting at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, and Northwestern University. He will relocate to the Tampa Bay area from Kitchener, Ontario, where he lives with his wife, hornist Marie-Sonja Cotineau.

Two musicians join TFO in the fall

Assistant Principal Trombone Ross Holcombe:
Holcombe is a Florida native, originally from Tallahassee. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the New England Conservatory in Boston and currently serves as principal trombonist of the Spokane Symphony, a position he has held since 2011.  He has performed with the Vancouver, Oregon, Utah, and Seattle symphonies, and spent one summer as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center.  He joins TFO in the fall and will occupy the position vacated by Dwight Decker, who retired after 44 years of dedicated service to TFO.

Violinist Roman Yearian:
Originally from Bellingham, Wash., Yearian isn’t a stranger to Florida. He studied with Elmar Oliveira at Lynn University in Boca Raton (where he was incidentally roommates with TFO cellist Doniyor Zuparov) and spent the 2017-18 season as a fellow with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, where he just completed his first year. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin and has participated in a number of prestigious summer festivals, including as concertmaster at the Schleswig-Holstein music festival in Germany. Yearian will start with TFO in the fall and replaces retiring violinist Claudia Rantucci, a beloved member of The Florida Orchestra for the past 37 years.

The orchestra also expects to hold auditions in the fall for principal bassoon and a second horn. The horn position is an addition to TFO, upping the roster of full-time musicians from 66 to 67.

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