Boise Phil Names Eric Garcia as Music Director


(Monday, May 8, 2017) Culminating a year-long search, Eric Garcia has been hired as the new Music Director of the Boise Philharmonic. Garcia previously served as Assistant Conductor of the Seattle Symphony. He will be relocating to the Treasure Valley in July.

“As we step into a new chapter and direction with the Boise Philharmonic, we look forward to Eric Garcia’s arrival and his leadership as we direct our efforts towards a new direction and stronger presence in the City of Boise,” said Philharmonic Chairman Julie Kilgrow. “I’d like to sincerely thank the Search Committee Chairs, Steve Trott and Jeanie Smith, for the committee’s work over the past year in delivering this outstanding musical leader to all of us in Boise. Garcia demonstrates the highest level of music making, befitting this excellent Orchestra, Chorale, and Youth Orchestra, as well as an infectious enthusiasm and dedication toward taking this great institution into the next era.”

“I cannot express how excited I am to join such a truly brilliant and dynamic orchestra, supportive and committed administration and board, and vibrant community. I look forward to incredible music making with these wonderful people!” said Eric Garcia.

The 2016-17 season has been very exciting as seven incredibly gifted Music Director Candidates each took the baton to lead the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra and Master Chorale. This year-long quest for new artistic leadership was spearheaded by the Music Director Search Committee comprised of 6 musicians, chosen by the orchestra from within its ranks, and 6 board members and other community leaders. Over 200 applications were received from conductors across the United States and from 22 countries around the world. The Committee carefully screened these applications, assessing the candidates’ credentials and how their expertise melded with the artistic vision of the Boise Philharmonic. This winnowing process eventually produced 16 semi-finalists, and after carefully checking references and interviewing each candidate, the seven finalists were chosen.

During each candidate’s week in Boise, they were interviewed by members of the Treasure Valley community including the Philharmonic divisions, audience and community members, and the Search Committee itself. Each candidate led the orchestra in a masterpiece concert, creating record-setting ticket sales and attendance through the year. Tony Boatman, past Executive Director of the Boise Philharmonic, compiled the surveyed responses and provided administrative support and leadership for the search process.

“I’m incredibly excited to have Eric Garcia join the Boise Philharmonic as our new music director,” said Jessie Polin, Chairperson of the Orchestra Committee. “During his week with us, he demonstrated a high level of leadership and artistry, and really brought the best out of the musicians. The Search Committee selected an extremely impressive group of candidates, and the orchestra is confident that Garcia is the right fit for us. We are very much looking forward to next season and beyond.”

* * *


Eric Garcia previously served as Assistant Conductor of the Seattle Symphony, conducting subscription, education, pops, and community concerts. He served as producer for recordings on the Naxos label and conductor for Brandi Carlile’s acclaimed Columbia Records release: Live at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony. He has collaborated with such esteemed artists as Marvin Hamlisch, Herbie Hancock, Cirque de la Symphonie, Pink Martini, The Chieftains, Assad Brothers, and Indigo Girls.

He has also served as Associate Conductor of the Eastern Music Festival, guest conductor of the Oklahoma City Ballet and Philharmonic, and cover conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

An avid supporter of contemporary music, Garcia has collaborated with such esteemed composers as John Adams, Sergio Assad, George Crumb, Frank Ferko, David Lang, Lowell Lieberman, Nico Muhly, Eric Nathan, and Jay Alan Yim. In addition, Garcia has served as principal conductor at the Cortona Sessions for New Music in Cortona, Italy.

As a committed advocate of music education, Garcia has served as guest conductor and clinician for high school orchestras throughout the country. In addition, Garcia has served as Director of Orchestral Activities and Associate Professor of Conducting at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University.

Garcia was a recipient of the Bruno Walter Foundation Scholarship to attend the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. He was also a member of the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he studied with James Conlon, Nicholas Kraemer, Murry Sidlin, Leonard Slatkin and David Zinman. At Aspen, he worked with the Susan and Ford Schumann Center for Composition Studies and the Aspen Opera Theatre Center.

Garcia received a Doctorate of Music and Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from Northwestern University. He received a bachelor’s degree in Music Theory from the University of Texas at Austin.