About the Search


In the fall of 2015, Stewart Kershaw, Music Director and Conductor of the Auburn Symphony Orchestra, announced his retirement from the position. The Board of Trustee's search for a new Music Director began at once, and is reaching its completion. 

The Symphony was extremely fortunate to have a conductor of Stewart’s caliber.  Over 30 years ago, he created the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, often acclaimed as the best ballet orchestra in America.  By creating the Auburn Symphony in 1997 with the PNB orchestra as the core, he fulfilled his dream of giving our talented professional musicians the opportunity to play on stage from the symphonic repertoire.  They performed for Stewart for nearly 19 seasons and we are grateful for the incredible legacy he leaves us and the solid foundation from which we can move forward. 

Long-time board member Nancy Colson summed up the sentiments of the symphony board, “Stewart has been the face of the Auburn Symphony for nearly twenty years. He brought us a great orchestra and deepened the appreciation of classical music in Auburn and the Puget Sound community. We thank him for his creative programming, commanding and nuanced conducting technique, and the quality and brilliance he brought to Auburn Symphony concerts.  We wish him the very best.”

We have now seen each of our Music Director Candidates perform with the Symphony, and the Search Committee will be discussing each of them before recommending one to the Board of Trustees. We look forward to updating our patrons as the search draws to a close, and to announcing a new Music Director in the next few months. 

It is the dream of every conductor to create an orchestra. Often it takes years - even generations - for an orchestra to grow from a community/amateur group to a widely acclaimed professional ensemble.

As Auburn grows and evolves, so too does its civic and cultural pride, and the Auburn Symphony will also continue to grow in artistic excellence as it seeks to provide the greatest classical music for all residents of South King County.

Stewart Kershaw