The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra has just hired a Music Director.

His name is Eckart Preu (pronounce that Proy and you’ll be pretty close to the right German pronunciation). He is a youthful 47, very personable, tall and ruggedly handsome, German born and trained.

But, what is more important than age and looks and personality and birthplace and training is that Maestro Preu is a very fine conductor. Check him out on his website:

The rank and file of the orchestra loved him when he was here last summer to conduct the final concert of the CCO’s 2016 season. The audience loved him too. Musically speaking he scored with everyone, including me. Here’s what I wrote in this blog after his concert last September:

Eckart Preu is an immensely talented conductor, one capable of moving with ease from the cutting edge sounds of del Águila and Bjarnason to the Americana of Aaron Copland and then on to the Gallic Romanticism of Saint-Saëns and, finally, impress with an exquisite Mozart performance. This concert concludes the 2016 season by reminding us of how fortunate it is for us to have not one but two great orchestras in our town. But, beyond that, of the two, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra has been reborn into a very fine ensemble, and that is more than cause for celebration. What lies ahead now is the choice of Music Director for this worthy member organization of the music scene in Cincinnati, one who will lead it into the next chapter of its musical life. After hearing tonight’s performance I know who my choice would be.

Preu will be leading the CCO into the next phase of its relatively short forty-three year old life, one that has been artistically and financially a musical roller coaster. Some of the previous  conductors came and went a little too quickly to really leave an imprint. Others slugged their way through years of financial instability. None of that bode well for a musical organization that deserves to be a jewel in the Cincinnati musical crown.

But with a now larger and stronger board of directors, a dedicated administrative staff, a terrific group of musicians,  generous support from Arts Wave Community Campaign, the Ohio Arts Council and season sponsors Robert and Debra Chavez the CCO has a winning formula. Add to that mix a very fine conductor with musical fire in his belly, inspired musicality and people skills and you got a winner.

Eckart Preu will be keeping the airlines in business. With this, now his third major steady gig (Spokane and Stamford are the other two) plus guest conducting stints all over the map, he will be all over the place geographically but very much musically here heart and soul when he returns next summer to helm the orchestra’s 2017 season. More about that soon.

In the meantime here’s wishing the CCO and Maestro Eckart Preu all our best wishes.