NEW YORK CITY BALLET MUSIC DIRECTOR FAYÇAL KAROUI TO STEP DOWN AT CONCLUSION OF 2012 SPRING SEASON
New York City Ballet announced today that the Company’s Music Director, Fayçal Karoui, will step down following the Company’s 2012 Spring Season.
The French-born Karoui was appointed NYCB’s fifth Music Director in December 2006. In addition to his position with NYCB, Karoui is currently the Music Director of the Orchestre de Pau Pays de Béarn in Southwest France, a position he has held since 2001, and last year he was also appointed Music Director of the Orchestre Lamoureux in Paris. Karoui will continue his duties with both of these orchestras after leaving NYCB.
In making the announcement, Karoui said that his current commitments in France have made it difficult for him to return to New York as often as needed to work with New York City Ballet.
In announcing his decision Karoui said, “Six years ago I fell in love with New York City Ballet and became its Music Director. Today I am still in love with the New York City Ballet, and I have had a wonderful time with the orchestra, the dancers, and the staff. I deeply value how blessed I am to be part of this family.”
“Now, I find myself at a crossroads. The Music Director position at New York City Ballet position demands and deserves a strong commitment. For six years I have been able to manage this commitment with the rest of my artistic life, but this is no longer possible. So it is with very mixed emotions that I am stepping down, as I am very proud of the high level of musical artistry that has been achieved by the New York City Ballet Orchestra through our hard work together.”
One of France’s leading young conductors, Karoui studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris where he obtained a First Prize in Conducting in 1997. The following year he became the assistant to conductor Michel Plasson at the Orchestra National du Capitole de Toulouse. Recognized for his wide and eclectic repertory, Karoui has also conducted such prestigious orchestras as the Orchestra de Paris, the Orchestra of the Paris Opera and Paris Opera Ballet, the Orchestra National de Lille, and the Orchestra National de Monte-Carlo. In 2006 he also served as Music Director for Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet.
During his six years with NYCB, Karoui conducted a vast array of works from NYCB’s unparalleled musical repertory and was involved in creating such productions as NYCB Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins’ full-length Romeo + Juliet in 2007; the Architecture of Dance Festival in 2010, which featured commissioned scores by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Thierry Eschaich, Jay Greenberg, and Bruno Moretti; as well as last year’s production of Ocean’s Kingdom, a collaboration with Sir Paul McCartney and Peter Martins.
“Working with Fayçal for these past six years has been a wonderful experience,” said Martins. “His passion, commitment and love of music and dance have made him an integral part of the New York City Ballet family, and he will be greatly missed by everyone. While we all understand that his thriving career in Europe is now a priority, we do hope that Fayçal will return to NYCB as a guest conductor in the future.”
Karoui was NYCB’s fifth Music Director, following Andrea Quinn (2001-2006), Gordon Boelzner (1990-2001), Robert Irving (1958-1989), and Leon Barzin (1948-1958).
Karoui will depart from NYCB following its 2012 spring season, and Andrews Sill, currently NYCB’s Assistant Music Director, will become Interim Music Director as the Company begins a search to replace Karoui.
NYCB’s 2012 Spring Season will take place from May 1 to June 10 at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.