Performing Arts

ASO Presents New Music Director Darko Butorac

Darko Butorac, new director

By Natasha Anderson

The Asheville Symphony Orchestra (ASO) is pleased to announce that conductor Darko Butorac will become the organization’s next music director. Butorac will conduct the majority of ASO’s 2018-2019 Masterworks concerts, beginning with the season premiere on Saturday, September 15. He was one of six finalists who performed audition concerts after a worldwide search garnered more than 400 applicants.

“I was really overwhelmed by the quality of sound and the spirit our orchestra displayed with Darko Butorac conducting, and was especially impressed that the orchestra played with so much intensity and dedication,” says ASO executive director David Whitehill. “From the very first downbeat Darko gave, it was clear that a very, very nice relationship was blossoming.”

Butorac currently serves as music director of the Tallahassee and Missoula symphony orchestras. An established conductor in demand with orchestras both in Europe and the Americas, he has appeared at prestigious venues such as the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Gran Teatro Nacional of Lima, as well as at the Tartu, Aspen and Brevard summer music festivals. He has collaborated with soloists such as soprano Renée Fleming, cellist Colin Carr, violinist Lara St. John and Oscar-winning actor J.K. Simmons.

The repertoire for his first season with ASO will include Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, Rachmaninoff Concertos with famed pianist Garrick Ohlsson and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. “I had such a special connection with ASO last year,” says Butorac. “I am excited to bring that kind of energy to Asheville audiences again as we discover great music together.”

Thomas Wolfe Auditorium is located at 87 Haywood Street. Purchase tickets at, by phone at 828.254.7046, or in person at the Asheville Symphony offices or the U.S. Cellular Center box office.

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