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MITSO Conductor Anzolini to Leave, Tenure No Longer Offered for Position

By Daniela Cako

This June, Associate Professor Dante Anzolini, music director of the MIT Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, will leave MIT after having served the eight-year maximum a professor has as a non-tenured faculty member. For the next MITSO director, the position will no longer be tenure-track, but instead a regular, full-time position.

When asked why Anzolini was not given tenure, head of the music and theater arts department Evan Ziporyn said that he could not comment without compromising confidentiality. He did comment that “Dante is an amazing musician and thinker.”

Reflecting upon his time conducting MITSO, Anzolini said that “the most beautiful thing and source of joy was having the amazing relationships with the students.”

Commenting on the decision to make the position not tenure-track, Ziporyn said, “this way, the three major musical conductors of MITSO, Wind Ensemble, and the Concert Choir will all be equal and can work together more.”

Once the new Director of MITSO is found, he or she will be in charge of both MITSO and the Chamber Orchestra, which was founded in 1999 under Anzolini.

Anzolini said that after leaving MIT, he will focus on getting his work recognized in Europe and South America, mainly in Argentina and Brazil.

While at MIT, he has conducted numerous concerts, having MITSO tackle 20th century pieces like Mahler’s Sixth Symphony and what he termed “phenomenal pieces,” such as the 4th Symphony of Charles Ives.

Anzolini said he likes to push young composers to create new music. Even after students have graduated, they still stop by his office or keep contact with him through e-mail, he said. “People here are smart, nice, and greatly dedicated,” he said.

MITSO member Joel A. Cohen ’07 said Anzolini was “very encouraging and inspiring,” and “has been an excellent leader with an amazing drive to make excellent music.” A member of MITSO since his freshman year, Cohen said that his musical understanding grew each semester as he has explored new abstract pieces in new ways with Anzolini.

Anzolini has conducted many concerts in Europe, North America, and South America. In March 2005, he was one of the eight conductors selected by the American Symphony Orchestra League for the prestigious National Conductors Preview in Jacksonville, Florida, according to the MITSO Web site.

Anzolini will be conducting two more concerts at MIT with MITSO on March 17 and May 17. Free tickets can be obtained within about a week of the concerts in Lobby 10.