Williamsburg orchestra taps Michael Butterman

Michael Butterman, currently music director of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra in Louisiana and the Boulder Philharmonic in Colorado, has been named the new music director of the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra, effective in July.

Butterman, who grew up in Northern Virginia and holds degrees from the University of Virginia and Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, was selected from 194 applicants for the Williamsburg podium, vacant since Janna Hymes left in 2019.

“The signing of Butterman is considered a real coup by the symphony,” Jon Krapfl, chair of Williamsburg Symphony’s conductor search committee, stated in a news release on Butterman’s appointment. “The new music director is a very experienced and well-known conductor who has conducted several major orchestras in the United States and has significantly enhanced the stature of orchestras for whom he has served as music director.”

In the release, the conductor was quoted as saying, “I was immediately impressed by the musicianship and collegial spirit that I felt from the [Williamsburg Symphony] musicians,” and lauding the “mutually supportive relationship” among the orchestra’s musicians, management and board.

Butterman formerly served as the Rochester Philharmonic’s principal conductor for education and community engagement, resident conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony and Opera Southwest in Albuquerque, NM. He also is the longtime music director of the Pennsylvania Philharmonic, an ensemble that focuses on education.

He has guest-conducted the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Houston Symphony Orchestra. He was a joint director of UVa’s Virginia Glee Club from 1989 to 1991, and led concerts at the Wintergreen Music Festival in Nelson County.