Marcelo Lehninger, who was introduced to West Michigan as the Grand Rapids Symphony’s new music director, on Thursday, June 2, was introduced to his first Festival of the Arts, the following day.
Grand Rapids Symphony Associate Conductor John Varineau, who led the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony at 3 p.m. on June 3 on the Calder Stage, introduced “his new boss” to the crowd as they enjoyed the opening day of the 47th annual celebration of arts and culture.
“It’s such beautiful weather,” Lehninger said. “It was a nice chance to be in the community and get to know the community.”
Lehninger, a native of Brazil, who has lived in the United States for the past 11 years, spent the afternoon exploring downtown Grand Rapids, having a ride on the DiSuvero Swing on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford Federal Building and walking through Rosa Parks Circle while soaking up the sights and sounds of Grand Rapids’ biggest street party of the summer.
“It’s wonderful what Grand Rapids has to offer,” said Lehninger, who’s married with a 4-year-old daughter, though he traveled to Grand Rapids alone for the announcement of his appointment as the 14th music director in the Grand Rapids Symphony's 86-year history.
Lehninger and his wife, Laura, expect to move to Grand Rapids sometime next year. But before then, they’re expecting a new addition to their family in late July.
“It’s such a nice place and time to be with family,” said Lehninger, while strolling through Festival of the Arts. “I’m looking forward to being here for the next Festival with my family.”