Boise Philharmonic Has A New Music Director

May 9, 2017

Eric Garcia, Music Director of the Boise Philharmonic, May 2017.

A year ago, the Boise Philharmonic began an intensive search for a new Music Director. They’ve now finalized their decision.

It was like a yearlong episode of “Survivor.” Seven conductors came to Boise, not just to interview for the open position of Music Director, but also to lead the Boise Philharmonic.

It was an unusual process for the candidates. All seven finalists played with the musicians and also met donors and audience members. In the end, only one was left standing.

Jeanie Smith was a co-chair of the search committee for the Boise Philharmonic. She announced that "after a long search we selected Eric Garcia. We selected him because the musicians picked him as the first choice. The search committee concurred in that decision, and the board approved it."


Smith shared those search committee duties with Steve Trott, who described where they got the idea. "Well, Jeannie and I 10 years ago went to a seminar down in Los Angeles, put on by the League of American Orchestras and we were very privileged to sit with three experts in the field, telling you how to do it and how not to do it."


Garcia leaves a teaching post at Oklahoma State University to join the Boise Philharmonic. He reflected on what it means to hold the baton in a city like this. "It’s very very important to represent the people of the community. To represent the culture of the community. To sometimes be a taste-maker for the community."


And being a taste-maker - or pushing the envelope in programming - is something that Trott hopes for, as well. "There’s no question about it," says Trott. "Every community is a little bit different, in terms of what it expects from an orchestra, from symphonic music. Eric is very attuned to trying to figure out, not only what we want, but also to move us into different levels, also; to take us to new directions and new dimensions. So we're not only going to feature the famous classics from 200 years ago, but he's going to bring to the table all kinds of new music also. He's going to present it in a way that makes it very interesting and entertaining for our audiences."

Eric Garcia, conducting for the Boise Philharmonic.

Garcia first got interested in music as a young child, but he wanted to be a rock-and-roll drummer. Then, thanks to public television, he was exposed to classical music.

"I really became interested in classical music," said Garcia, "and I was watching all of these incredible conductors on television on PBS at the time. I thought, 'You know, that might be something I'd be interested in doing.' Conducting just seemed to be at the epicenter of everything."


Garcia follows in the footsteps of Robert Franz, who was Music Director at the Boise Phil for 8 years. Garcia will be moving to Boise in July, and is already planning for the upcoming season.

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