People: Kelly Kuo new director of Reno Chamber Orchestra

Kelly Kuo

Kelly Kuo Courtesy Photo

The Reno Chamber Orchestra on July 9 announced the selection of a new music director: Maestro Kelly Kuo.

He will be only the third individual to hold this esteemed position since the Reno Chamber Orchestra’s founding in 1974, according to a press release.

The orchestra received applications from over 140 music director candidates, which were narrowed to six finalists. The first candidate appeared in March 2019, long before the pandemic postponed the selection process. The orchestra’s search committee, composed of musicians, community members and board members, eventually unanimously selected Kuo after his performance with the orchestra this past May.

“The community saw six dynamic conductors with incredible skills, and in the end, we are excited to welcome Kelly Kuo as our new leader,” Search committee chair and RCO principal bassist Scott Faulkner said in a statement.

Kuo is currently Artistic Director of Oregon Mozart Players and Associate Artistic Director of American Lyric Theater; his recent operatic engagements include Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Kentucky Opera, Anchorage Opera, and the Janiec Opera Company of the Brevard Music Center.

“This is a great time for the RCO, welcoming our new conductor as we move out of the pandemic and approach our 50th anniversary season in 2024,” added RCO Board President John Tozzi.

Kuo will lead the Reno Chamber Orchestra for its opening program, Oct. 16-17, as well as other appearances in Reno during the season, according to the release, and is working on planning the 2022-23 season.

“It is a great privilege to join the Reno Chamber Orchestra family as its next music director,” Kuo said in a statement. “I am so impressed with the flexibility and generosity of spirit demonstrated by the musicians and community.

“It was obvious to me during my visit that they care enormously about the RCO and are committed to further developing a meaningful musical connection to the diverse people and cultures that make up the Reno community. I look forward to continuing our journey together.”


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