Danail Rachev will leave his post as music director of the Eugene Symphony at the end of the 2016-17 season, his eighth with the orchestra, according to an announcement today from the symphony association.
No reason was given for his departure, and there was no word about Rachev’s future plans. Next season will mark the end of his second four-year contract with the symphony.
The symphony has distinguished itself for decades with its unusual, highly public procedure — overseen by Eugene lawyer Roger Saydack — for selecting music directors. Saydack oversaw the hiring of Rachev’s three predecessors — Marin Alsop, Miguel Harth-Bedoya and Giancarlo Guerrero — as well as Rachev himself.
Saydack confirmed by email this afternoon that he will once more head the search committee for a new music director.
Under Saydack’s leadership, the orchestra has in the past brought three finalists to town for free public performances as part of the hiring process. Today’s announcement made it clear that at least a similar procedure will be followed next season, which will include three public concerts conducted by candidates for the job.
Each program will include “a Mozart overture, followed by a challenging 20th-century concerto performed by a rising star soloist,” today’s announcement said. “The concluding piece or pieces on each program will be determined by the finalists once they are selected this fall.”
An announcement about the search will be made February 26, the symphony said.