Eckart Preu, bi-coastal maestro

Longtime Richmonders will remember Eckart Preu, who as the newly minted assistant conductor of the Richmond Symphony led the orchestra in its first concert following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks while a suspension of air travel left then-music director Mark Russell Smith stuck at home in Minneapolis.

Preu (rhymes with “joy”), a onetime chorister in the famed Dresdner Kreuzchor boys’ choir in his native Germany, left Richmond in 2004 to become music director of the Spokane Symphony in Washington state, a post he vacated at the end of this past season.

In recent years, Preu took on direction of the Long Beach (CA) Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.

Now, he’s gone professionally bi-coastal, having been named music director of the Portland (ME) Symphony Orchestra:

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