Grand Rapids Symphony Announces Grand Rapids Youth Symphony Interim Conductor

GRAND RAPIDS, MI, June 29, 2021–The Grand Rapids Symphony is pleased to announce the one-year appointment of Yaniv Segal as Conductor of the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony, an affiliate of the Grand Rapids Symphony.

Segal will be responsible for leading two ensembles that perform throughout the academic year–the Youth Symphony, and its sister ensemble, the Classical Orchestra. Both groups engage in in-depth study of orchestral repertoire and benefit from coaching by professional musicians of the Grand Rapids Symphony. Members of the two ensembles range in age from 12 to 21 and represent schools from across West Michigan.

“The search committee was attracted to Yaniv’s strong artistic capability, commitment to youth music education, and his inspiring and energizing approach when working with youth,” said Mary Ellen Logan, President of the Youth Symphony’s Parent Association.

The son of a Polish violinist–one of the first women in the New York Philharmonic, and an Israeli violin-maker, Yaniv grew up speaking three languages in a multi-cultural household.  In addition to being a talented conductor, Yaniv is a composer, violinist, and former child actor. He has held positions with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Chelsea Symphony, and Naples Philharmonic where he also was the music director of the Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Yaniv is a Music Director Finalist of the Rockford, Salina, and Ashland Symphony Orchestras.

He regularly works with the Detroit Symphony, and has led orchestras around the globe, including the Minnesota Orchestra, Kansai Philharmonic, Ann Arbor Symphony, Sinfonietta Cracovia and the Beethoven Academy Orchestra. While Assistant Conductor of the Naples Philharmonic from 2014-17, Yaniv conducted nearly twenty different programs annually, including special performances with artists ranging from Itzhak Perlman to the Beach Boys.

Grand Rapids Symphony Music Director Marcelo Lehninger said, “We are thrilled to welcome Yaniv to the Grand Rapids Symphony family. He is an accomplished conductor and a wonderful musician. During this transitional year he will bring vibrancy, and I believe that the young musicians of the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony will very much enjoy working with him.”

Segal’s appointment will fill the vacancy that resulted from the retirement of Grand Rapids Symphony Associate Conductor John Varineau this past May. A committee will be formed later this summer to perform a nationwide search for a permanent replacement, who is expected to be in place the fall of 2022. The candidate who is chosen will conduct both of the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony’s ensembles as well as cover Varineau’s duties with the Grand Rapids Symphony.

About the Grand Rapids Symphony
Organized in 1930, the Grand Rapids Symphony is nationally recognized for the quality of its concerts, the breadth of its educational programs, and the innovation of its initiatives to support diversity, equity and inclusion as well as to serve the wider community in non-traditional settings. Led by Music Director Marcelo Lehninger, and Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt , West Michigan’s largest performing arts organization is affiliated with the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony & Classical Orchestra the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Chorus, and the biennial Grand Rapids Bach Festival. GRS collaborates annually with Opera Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Ballet and biennially with the Gilmore Keyboard Festival in Kalamazoo.

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