Music Director Finalists

Search Update from President Pendleton

The Music Director Search for the Juneau Symphony was initiated in the fall of 2018 and resulted in nearly 50 diverse and qualified applicants.  A highly competitive process, the Symphony was thrilled with the selection of two finalists — Christopher Koch and Scott Seaton. Drs. Koch and Seaton were auditioned in October 2019 and January 2020, respectively.  We expect to announce the new Music Director in December 2021.  The new Juneau Symphony maestro will start his directorship with the Juneau Symphony in 2022!

The two finalists, in addition to conducting a mainstage concert, are engaging with the community through a special fundraising event or musical performance.  Finalists are also meeting with the Board of Directors and orchestra and choir members, as well as, with concert audiences during pre-concert talks prior to each Symphony performance.  

Below are the biographies of each finalist.  Pre-recorded performances conducted by each of our finalists are periodically being re-broadcast as part of Sundays with the Symphony on KRNN public radio station, Sundays at 1 PM.

Christopher Koch

Christopher Koch is currently Executive Director and Music Director of Springfield Regional Opera, Music Director of the Missouri Philharmonic, Music Director of the Madrona Festival, and co-founder of the Oazarks Perfomring Arts League, a groundbreaking consortium of arts organizations working together to offset the devastating effects of COVID-19 on the arts economy. He has appeared as a guest conductor with orchestras across North America and Oceania and is active as an early music specialist (recorder), including recital and concerto performances throughout the US. He also worked in higher education for more than two decades as a professor of conducting and ensembles.  Koch began his music studies at the Eastman School of Music and holds the Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Washington. Dr. Koch conducted the fall concert series Passion & Longing in October 2019. Learn more about Dr. Koch’s concert here.

“I am thrilled to be one of the JSO’s music director candidates.
Juneau is an extraordinary city, and I can’t wait to work with the
orchestra this fall and learn more about the community.”

Scott Seaton

Scott Seaton is currently the Music Director of North State Symphony in California and Principal Conductor of the Veridian Symphony Orchestra. He has served as Music Director of the Minot Symphony Orchestra, the Kent State University Orchestra and Conductor of the New England Collective Chamber Orchestra, as well as having traveled nationally and internationally as a guest conductor. In addition to his Doctorate of Music in Conducting from the Universite’ de Montreal, Seaton has two other degrees in music. Dr. Seaton conducted the January 2020 concert series Romantic RevolutionLearn more about Dr. Seaton’s concerts.

“I’m thrilled to be a Music Director finalist with the Juneau Symphony. I cannot wait to spend time in Alaska getting to know both the orchestra and the community, all the while absorbing the breathtaking natural beauty that Juneau and the surrounding region has to offer.”

The Symphony’s Music Director Search Committee was comprised of a diverse group of community, board, and orchestra representatives. The Search Process included an exhaustive and very competitive application, interview, and review process. The three finalists, in addition to conducting a mainstage concert, will each engage with the community through a special fundraising event or musical performance. Finalists will also engage with the Board of Directors and orchestra members and with concert audiences during pre-concert talks, during their time in Juneau.